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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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Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 54, No. 1, 1957. Pp. 47-64.

THE CALIFORNIA F SCALE IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH: 1950-1955



H. Edwin Titus and E.P. Hollander

.... More than any other, the F (Fascism) scale developed by the California group has been widely accepted and widely used as a research variable. It is the purpose of this paper to present an overview of studies using the F scale which have been reported in the literature

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Some sixty-odd studies involving the F scale, reported from 1950 through 1955, were surveyed. It was noted that scores derived from the scale have used in studies of prejudice, leadership, rigidity, adjustment, and group behavior, among others. Furthermore, the F scale has been found to correlate with intelligence, xenophobia, family ideology, anxiety, re-enlistment intent, and cooperation in experimentation, to name but a few of the multitude of variables to which it has been related.

Without entertaining a broad critique, one may nonethelea be awed by the massive and amorphous area which has been touched upon by F scale researchers.... But some distinguishable points do stand forth. Notable among these is the evident fact that the F scale correlates most systematically with other paper-and-pencil measures, and least systematically with interpersonal behaviors, particularly as situational conditions are varied.

In this regard, it is well to recall that intelligence and educational level have both been found to relate negativelv to the scale. It is not astonishing, then, that a general intelligence factor may operate here to provide the basis for a good many of the r's which have been so zealously garnered. That intelligence underlies some of these relationships, is only part of the story. There is evidence, too, that various response sets may account for still more of the variance involved.

Regarding interpersonal studies, it is clear that relationships found with "leadership," let us say, have not held as the situation was altered. Surely this ought not surprise anyone in light of the newer conceptions of situational determinants. But even more significant, in this picture, is the concomitant inclination to impute a correspondence between ideology, personality, and institutional form so as to view them as having a congruency of "authoritarian" identity. This may be theoretically acceptable, but it is not empirically supportable, at this juncture. Only confusion has derived from this confounding of elements in research undertakings.

The more ultimate questions regarding the scale's place as a personaIity measure are not readily resolved by recourse to the works covered. Deeper consideration of this issue has been pressented elsewhere. At this writing, one may say that, if anything, the F-scale literature begs questions about the very definition of such terms as "personality" and "syndrome" themselves.

Today, although much work has been done using the F scale, one might reasonably hesitate to recommend it as a "practical" instrument in applied settings. Many questions still remain to be answered before its use would have much meaning in terms of predicting human behavior. Perhaps the greatest need, if the F scale is to be used still more in research, is for evidence regarding its behavioral implications. Beyond this, adequate studies of the scale qua scale are required; hopeful signs in this direction are to be seen in some of the work reported.




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