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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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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN PERSONALITY 12, 469-478 (1978)

Authoritarianism-Situation Interactions in the Determination of Punitiveness: Engaging Authoritarian Ideology



LUIS T. GARCIA AND WILLIAM GRIFFITT

Kansas State University

An analysis of previously reported authoritarianism-situation interactions in the determination of punitiveness suggested that the extent to which target person characteristics or behaviors engage the important ideological content dimensions of the authoritarianism syndrome is a potent mediator of authoritarianism-punitiveness relationships. Support for this analysis was obtained in a jury decisions task in which high authoritarians recommended more severe punishments than did low authoritarians for a defendant accused of incest (p < .01) but not for a defendant accused of child abuse in the course of disciplining a disobedient son or daughter. It was argued that a thorough understanding of authoritarianism-situation interactions as well as other disposition-situation interactions will be achieved only if dispositional variables receive a degree of scrutiny at least equal to that which has recently been recognized as crucial for situational variables.





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