A bias-corrected exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of right-wing authoritarianism: Support for a three-factor structure

Kenneth I. Mavor*, Winnifred R. Louis, Chris G. Sibley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The factor structure of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) remains a contentious issue. Although designed to measure three underlying attitude clusters, aggression, submission and conventionalism, many items are deliberately double-or triple-barrelled, to capture the covariation of the three clusters in a unidimensional scale. Additionally, although the scale is balanced, there is an item wording direction bias in the clusters; aggression items are pro-trait, and conventionalism items are con-trait. Sub-scale structure is therefore potentially confounded with acquiescence bias. Although RWA as a unitary construct has been an effective tool for exploring prejudice, it would be useful in many cases to measure its underlying components directly. Proposed solutions to this problem include creating short-form scales as subsets of the original scale, or modifying items to simplify and un-confound the structure. We present convergent evidence of an underlying factor structure by considering one-, two-and three-factor solutions to the uncorrected scale and then using an indirect method to correct for acquiescence bias. Before and after correction, factor analysis supported a three-factor solution. Confirmatory factor analyses also support a three-factor solution compared to a one-factor solution. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Right-wing authoritarianism
  • Prejudice
  • Acquiescence bias
  • Social dominance
  • Scale
  • Attitudes
  • Social-dominance orientation
  • Factor analysis

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