The F Scale as a Predictor of Fascism: An Overview of 40 Years of Authoritarianism Research

  • Jos D. Meloen


From 1950 through 1989, Psychological Abstracts listed 2,341 publications on authoritarianism and dogmatism. To make sense of the often con­tradictory results reported in this vast literature on authoritarianism, a search was initiated to discover whether there are systematic tendencies, focusing on F-scale levels across the many groups tested. The object was to assess the validity of the F scale. Are high scores associated with antidemocratic, profascist tendencies? This was one of the issues that the Berkeley group was unable to address. Surprisingly, such a systematic analysis of F-scale scores has never been conducted, either by follow-up investigators or by reviewers such as Wrightsman (1977), Brown (1965), Byrne (1974), Cherry and Byrne (1977), Dillehay (1978), Goldstein and Blackman (1978), or Altemeyer (1981). The present global meta-analysis, in the classic sense of a combinational approach, is an attempt to correct for this important omission. The present study was part of a wider survey into the validity of authoritarianism research. Only the initial global meta-analysis over the first three decade period will be presented here. For a more complete account see Meloen (1983). Later findings in the 1980s generally supported its conclusions, and some relevant ones have been included in this report.

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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Jos D. Meloen

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