Are all conservatives alike? A study of the psychological correlates of cultural and economic conservatism.

University of Oklahoma, Department of Educational Psychology, 820 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019, USA.
The Journal of Psychology Interdisciplinary and Applied (Impact Factor: 0.86). 10/2009; 143(5):449-63. DOI: 10.3200/JRL.143.5.449-463
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The author addresses the question of whether cultural and economic conservatism differ among American citizens in their relation to measures of epistemic beliefs and motives, dogmatism, death-related anxiety, and the tendency to exhibit dogmatic aggression against those who hold beliefs and values that diverge from one's own. Data from this study suggest that these types of conservative attitudes exhibit different correlational patterns with the aforementioned measures. Research participants who held more culturally conservative attitudes were more likely to score higher on measures of the belief that knowledge is certain, dogmatism, need to evaluate, and fear of death. They also scored lower on need for cognition than did their less conservative counterparts. Moreover, participants who scored higher on cultural conservatism were more likely to exhibit dogmatic aggression. Economic conservatism was largely unrelated to measures of epistemic beliefs and motives, fear of death, dogmatism, and aggressiveness. Ancillary regression analyses revealed that belief that knowledge is certain and dogmatism were the strongest predictors of cultural conservatism. Cultural conservatism, fear of death, and need for structure were significant predictors of dogmatic aggression.

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Feb 20, 2015