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What did Adorno et al want to study?

He wanted to understand anti-Semitism after WW2.


What did Adorno et al believe?

He believed that high levels of obedience was because of a psychological disorder linked to personality.


Which research methods did Adorno use?

Questionnaires, Likert Scale.


What was Adorno's sample?

Over 2,000 American white middle-class males.


What did Adorno develop?

He developed the F-Scale - measuring the extent of a person's authoritarian personality.


What is a person with Authoritarian personality likely to do?

A person with an authoritarian personality is likey to:
-Follow all orders given by an authority figure
-Become frustrated with those who do not respect/follow authority
-Enter the agentic state and take little personal responsibility for their actions.


Give a disadvantage of the authoritarian personality.

- Social desirability bias when completing the F - Scale.
- Low temporal validity of the F-Scale - zeitgeist.


What is the autonomous state?

People are able to control their actions and feel responsible for them.


What is the agentic state?

People carry out the instructions from an authority figure and feel no reposibility for these actions.


Name the process of changing from the autonomous state to the agentic state and vice versa.

Agentic shift.


Give an advantage to the theory of agentic shift.

- Blass and Schmitt - people typically blame the authority figure for the harm inflicted.
- Practical validity - Kelman and Hamilton - argued that it can be used to explain the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.
- Can be used to explain cultural variations in obedience - Kilham - 16% of Australian pps went to 450V whereas, 85% of German pps went to 450V.


Descibe Elms and Milgram's procedure.

- 20 obedient pps
- 20 disobedient pps
- Each pp completed the F-Scale and a series of other questionnaires regarding paternal relationships etc.


Who proposed that education levels were a more likely cause of authoritarian personality?

Middendorp and Meleon 🍉