In the “Early View” web feature of Political Psychology, Assistant Professor of Psychology Emily Fisher and her coauthors examine whether authoritarians’ attitudes toward sexual minorities have been influenced by the recent societal shift toward greater acceptance.
In the article, “Social Norms and Egalitarian Values Mitigate Authoritarian Intolerance Toward Sexual Minorities,” the authors use data collected between 1992 and 2012 to test a model “in which authoritarianism, endorsement of egalitarian values, and social norms shifting in the direction of tolerance predict individual attitudes toward sexual minorities and LGBT rights issues.”
Adding to contemporary theory and research on authoritarianism and authoritarian personality traits, the study reveals three key findings: “(1) there was a subset of authoritarians who endorsed egalitarian values, (2) authoritarians in general became more tolerant (i.e., held less negative attitudes) toward sexual minorities between 1992 and 2012, and (3) ‘egalitarian authoritarians’ held more positive attitudes toward sexual minorities than other authoritarians.”
Fisher co-authored the study with Clifton M. Oyamot Jr. and Melinda S. Jackson of San José State University, Grace Deason University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, and Eugene Borgida of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Fisher joined the faculty in 2011, after earning her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. Her research focuses on stereotyping and prejudice, social capital and community engagement, political psychology and consumer behavior.
Political Psychology will publish Fisher and her coauthors’ article in print in the coming months.