Authoritarianism and Attitudes Towards Redistribution: An Experimental Investigation

19.03.2018 - 12:00 bis 13:30
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB B-Kolloquium
Gizem Arikan, Ph.D.
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
Trinity College Dublin

Authoritarianism is defined as psychological predisposition that reflects a preference for social order, conformity, and deference to authority as opposed to individual autonomy and freedom (Duckitt 2001, Feldman 2003, Stenner 2005). So far, the political psychology literature has focused on the effects of authoritarianism on prejudice and intolerance, and often disregarded its potential effect on attitudes towards the role of government in the economy. I argue that authoritarian predispositions are associated with greater support for government responsibility when individuals perceive a threat to social order and stability increases. While there is some evidence on the effect of authoritarianism on support for government responsibility (Stenner 2009; Stevens, Bishin, & Barr 2006) and on the moderating effect of social and economic threats on this relationship (Arikan and Sekercioglu, 2016), these works use survey data and thus do not directly test the moderating effect of threat perceptions on support for government responsibility. In this paper, we conduct an experimental investigation testing whether societal and pocketbook economic insecurity perceptions lead those with higher levels of authoritarian tendencies to express more support in favor of redistribution and government responsibility to provide for those in need.