Research into authoritarianism has focused almost exclusively on the scaling instruments designed to measure the phenomenon. Rarely do researchers get beyond this fascination with the scale, and consequently authoritarianism becomes reduced to a score on a scale predetermined to measure the concept. This study utilizes Q methodology to explore authoritarianism, by factor analyzing the scale responses of conventionally defined authoritarians. The analysis produced 3 factors, 2 of which would go unnoticed by researchers using traditional psychometric methods, and which run contrary to conventional understandings of authoritarianism.

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Keywords Q Methodology, authoritarianism
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Journal Operant Subjectivity
James C. Rhoads, Ph.D. (2001). Researching Authoritarian Personality with Q Methodology Part I: Revisiting Traditional Analysis. Operant Subjectivity, 24(2), 68–85. doi:10.15133/j.os.2001.003