British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology (1980), 19, 147-148


J. J. Ray

In spite of much past criticism, Eysenck & Wilson (1978) restate Eysenck's earlier theory concerning the structure of social attitudes with only minor changes. A third dimension of 'economic conservatism' has been added and psychoticism as well as extraversion has been implicated in the explanation of tough-mindedness. Good evidence for the proposed relationship between extraversion and tough-mindedness still, however, seems to be lacking.

Eysenck (1954), of course, proposes his tough-mindedness dimension as a 'pure' measure of authoritarianism -- unlike the Rightist authoritarianism of the F scale. Extraversion, then, is supposed to make both Rightists and Leftists authoritarian. One trouble in testing this theory, however, is the general rejection of Eysenck's own 'T' scale (see, for example, Christie, 1956). Since Eysenck & Wilson (1978) identify as measuring 'tough-mindedness' items which are almost entirely concerned with religion and morality, this is perhaps understandable.

Inadequacies in Eysenck's empirical work do not however amount to a disproof of his theory and it is this theory that the present paper sets out to test in a hopefully more rigorous way.

Study 1

If extraversion produces both Rightist and Leftist authoritarianism, it should also produce higher scores on the California F scale - which Eysenck (1954) himself acknowledges as a measure of Rightist authoritarianism. In this study, then, the Ray (1972) 'Balanced F' (BF) scale is used as a measure of authoritarianism. The BF scale consists of 14 original F items and 14 reversed F items and has shown correlations between its two halves of up to -0.7. It does, then, enable for the first time an acquiescence-free test of Eysenck's theory. It was used here in a 14-item short form (Ray, 1979a).

An especially careful measurement of extraversion was also sought. For this reason, it was measured with reference to Eysenck & Eysenck's (1963) account of its factorial structure. In this paper the Eysencks break up extraversion into two sub-factors of 'impulsiveness' and 'sociability', respectively. Their 15 highest-loading sociability items and their 12 highest-loading impulsiveness items were then selected for use as two separate scales.

An important element of extraversion not shown in Eysenck & Eysenck (1963) appeared to be sensation seeking. To measure this, the Zuckerman (1971, Table 2) scale was also included.

Finally, as a methodological check, a short social desirability scale was also included (Greenwald & Satow, 1970).

The sample used has been described elsewhere (Ray, 1979a). Briefly, it was a random postal survey of the Australian population, with n = 200.

The reliabilities (alpha) of the scales were: BF, 0.80; impulsiveness, 0.81; sociability, 0.84; sensation-seeking, 0.78; social desirability, 0.70. Their correlations are given in Table 1.

Table 1. Intercorrelations between five scales among 200 Australians. All rs above 0.138 are significant at the 0.05 level (two-tailed)

.............................................. Sen-Seek....Sociab..... Impul........Soc Des


All three measures of extraversion correlated negatively with authoritarianism, two of them significantly so. This is the opposite of what Eysenck would predict. Authoritarians are introverted, not extraverted. It must be noted, however, that this applies to Rightist authoritarianism only.

Study 2

One problem with the above study is the doubt over whether the F scale is really valid as a measure of authoritarianism (Ray, 1976). Conceivably, it measures only a type of conservatism (Ray, 1973). For this reason, a preliminary study was also carried out to test the relationship between the Ray (1976) Directiveness scale and extraversion. The Directiveness scale was designed as a measure of authoritarianism in behaviour inventory format and has shown good evidence of validity. It is also balanced and uncontaminated by ideology (Ray, 1979b). Together with the short E scale from the Maudsley Personality Inventory (Eysenck, 1959), a 14-item short form of the Directiveness scale was included in a postal survey of the Australian state of New South Wales.

The sample for the survey was randomly drawn from the electoral rolls, and the returns had a demographic structure indistinguishable from that observed in contemporaneous doorstep samples, with n = 122. The correlation observed between the two scales was 0.169, which is not significant.

Even with the use of four different scales of extraversion and two balanced scales of authoritarianism, no support for Eysenck's theory could be found.

We are left, then, with the newer leg of Eysenck's theory -- that authoritarians are psychotic. This, in fact, is even further than Adorno et al. (1950) were prepared to go in condemning authoritarians. However, since Eysenck now appears to view expressions of religious belief and moral concern (T) as the sole indicators of authoritarianism, the target Eysenck is aiming at would appear to be substantially different from that of the California authors.


ADORNO,.T. W., FRENKEL-BRUNSWIK, E., LEVINSON, D. J. & SANFORD, R. N. (1950). The Authoritarian Personality. New York: Harper.

CHRISTIE, R. (1956). Some abuses of psychology. Psychological Bulletin, 53, 439-451.

EYSENCK, H. J. (1954). The Psychology of Politics. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

EYSENCK, H. J. (1959). Manual of the Maudsley Personality Inventory. London: University of London Press.

EYSENCK, S. B. G. & EYSENCK, H. J. (1963). On the dual nature of extraversion. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2, 46-55.

EYSENCK, H. J. & WILSON, G. D. (1978). The Psychological Basis of Ideology. Lancaster: MTP Press.

GREENWALD, H. J. & SATOW, Y. (1970). A short social desirability scale. Psychological Reports, 27, 131-135.

RAY, J.J. (1972) A new balanced F scale -- And its relation to social class. Australian Psychologist 7, 155-166.

RAY, J.J. (1973) Conservatism, authoritarianism and related variables: A review and an empirical study. Ch. 2 in: G.D. Wilson (Ed.) The psychology of conservatism London: Academic Press.

RAY, J.J. (1976) Do authoritarians hold authoritarian attitudes? Human Relations, 29, 307-325.

RAY, J.J. (1979a) A short balanced F scale. Journal of Social Psychology, 109, 309-310.

RAY, J.J. (1979b) Does authoritarianism of personality go with conservatism? Australian Journal of Psychology 31, 9-14.

ZUCKERMAN, M. (1971). Dimensions of sensation-seeking. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 36, 45-52.

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