Interpersonal attachment and patterns of ideological belief

Christopher Weber, Christopher M. Federico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine whether two general dimensions of sociopolitical belief - right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) - are rooted in insecure psychological attachment. Based on an undergraduate sample (N = 255), we model the relations among attachment styles, general worldviews, RWA, and SDO. A structural equation model indicated that anxious attachment led to RWA but not SDO and that this effect was mediated by the belief that the world is a dangerous place. In contrast, avoidant attachment led to SDO but not RWA, and this effect was mediated by the belief that the world is an uncaring, competitive jungle in which people are motivated to maximize personal utility. We discuss the implications of these findings for the nature and origins of political conservatism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-416
Number of pages28
JournalPolitical Psychology
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Dual-process model
  • Ideology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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