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This is one of a series of excerpts from older articles put online by John Ray as a public service. The articles concerned are in general otherwise available only by special request to a University or other major library.

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Behavioral Science, 1971, 16, 218-227.

A QUASI-PARANOID FEATURE OF STUDENTS' EXTREME ATTITUDES AGAINST COLONIALISM





by Henry A. Alker

Three alternative explanations concerning an apparent paranoid quality of extreme political attitudes were tested. (1) Such attitudes reflect exceptional, if embarrassing perceptiveness by their proponents; (2) Such attirtudes reflect a cognitive style similar to that of paranoids without any attendant defensiveness, and (3) such attitudes represent paranoid defensiveness. Results on a selected total sample of 96 "left", "middle" and "right" college students supported only hypothesis 3 and, furthermore, suggested that paranoid-like functioning was most prevalent in those on the extreme "left". Paranoid defensiveness was indicated through an interaction with manipulated suspicion-arousal during assessment.





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