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On being a mindful authoritarian: Is need for cognition always associated with less punitiveness?

Authors Tam, Kevin K.P. View this author's profile
Leung, Angela Ka-Yee
Chiu, Chi-Yue
Issue Date 2008
Source Political Psychology , v. 29, (1), February 2008, p. 77-91
Summary In much research, the motivation to be mindful is expected to result in greater tolerance of deviant groups. Contrary to this expectation, the present research shows that this is the case only when individuals are relatively low in authoritarianism. Across two studies, we found a robust interaction effect of authoritarianism (right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation) and need for cognition on several measures of intolerance against criminals. Among low authoritarians, need for cognition was negatively associated with punitiveness and dispositional attribution of crimes, and positively with support for rehabilitation of criminals. However, among high authoritarians, a reverse pattern was observed. These findings are discussed in the context of some recent advances in theories of social motivation and functionalist mindset.
ISSN 0162-895X
Rights This is an electronic version of an article published in Political Psychology, v. 29, no. 1, (Feb 2008), p. 77-92 © 2008 Blackwell Publishers.
Language English
Format Article
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