According to the research involved, opposing hierarchical power structures as many liberals do is a sign of mental illness, as these individuals should apparently embrace the hierarchical structure as normal and acceptable. Those who refuse might be narcissists with psychopathic tendencies, the paper claims.
"We were interested in the psychological factors behind authoritarianism," said study authors Ann Krispenz, a postdoctoral associate, and Alex Bertrams, head of the Educational Psychology Lab at the University of Bern in Switzerland.
"There is a wide range of literature and research in the field of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA). However, research on authoritarianism observed in individuals who are supportive of left-wing political ideologies are still rare."
(Related: Remember when a woke liberal male claimed to be a transgender "woman" just on Wednesdays during work hours so he could obtain a political position illegally reserved just for women? This is what left-wing politics forces marginalized demographics like straight, white males to do just to maintain access to the same opportunities as special interest demographics like trans "women.")
To gain a better understanding of left-wing authoritarianism, or LWA, the researchers looked at another recently published study that conceptualizes LWA as consisting of three correlated dimensions: anti-conventionalism, top-down censorship, and anti-hierarchical aggression.
"Authoritarianism can be found on both sides of the political spectrum," Krispenz and Bertrams admit, noting that both the right wing and the left wing are still attached to the same bird.
"Indicators of authoritarianism on the political left are anticonventionalism (i.e., the absolute endorsement of progressive moral values), top-down censorship (i.e., the preference for the use of governmental and institutional authority to suppress any speech that is considered as offensive and intolerant), and antihierarchical aggression (i.e., the motivation to use force and aggression to overthrow established hierarchies)."
One example the study puts forth is the idea that someone who adheres to LWA might declare others who oppose his or her "progressive values," whatever they might be, as being "old fashioned." Such an individual might thus attempt to silence the opposer through elimination or suppression of free speech, using violence if necessary.
Krispenz and Bertrams looked at two separate studies to make their determination that left-wing authoritarianism often goes hand-in-hand with narcissism. To measure narcissism, they used the Five-Factor Narcissism Inventory, a self-report measure with 60 different items.
"The FFNI assesses narcissism on three subdimensions: antagonism, agentic extraversion, and neuroticism. Altruism was measured using the Self-Report Altruism Scale, which consisted of twenty items assessing prosocial behaviors (e.g., 'I have given money to a charity')," explains Eric W. Dolan, writing for PsyPost.
"Participants rated how often they had engaged in these behaviors in the past on a 5-point scale ranging from 'never' to 'very often.'"
"To assess proneness to socially desirable responding, the researchers used the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding. Socially desirable responding, also known as social desirability bias, refers to a tendency of individuals to respond to surveys or questionnaires in a way that presents themselves in a more favorable or socially acceptable light."
Left-wing authoritarianism was also measured using the Left-Wing Authoritarian Index, which is based on 39 items and uses much the same line of questioning as the above indexes.
Based on all this, the researchers found that LWA individuals tend to have high levels of neurotic narcissism, meaning they care very much about what other people think about them. They also experience high levels of shame and have a strong need for admiration. Conversely, the researchers found no relationship between LWA and altruism.
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