The Demography of the Brief Authoritarian Scale

6 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2012

Date Written: March 6, 2012


Which groups in the general US public are more or less authoritarian?

This paper reports the demographic correlates of the Brief Authoritarian Scale of Professors Schuman, Bobo, and Krysan.

Analyzing data in the leading US academic survey of attitudes, the National Opinion Research Center's General Social Survey, I find that education is the strongest predictor of authoritarian attitudes as measured by this scale. Though men and women do not differ significantly, authoritarianism does vary by race, political party, and liberal-conservative orientation (as well as education). These attitudinal differences are set out in a series of simple charts.

Keywords: politics, public opinion, authoritarianism, conservatism

Suggested Citation

Lindgren, James T., The Demography of the Brief Authoritarian Scale (March 6, 2012). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 12-9, Available at SSRN: or

James T. Lindgren (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
773-294-9043 (Phone)

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