Friday, September 29, 2006

What's your F score?

Dennis Prager interviews John Dean (yes, that one) about his new Adorno-inspired (yes, that one) book, "Conservatives Without Conscience". The companion phrenology volume, "Conservatives With Prominent Destructiveness Lobes", will be released no later than Spring 1873.

I post this MP3 to use new server space, because it's a fun conversation, and to highlight this great moment in scientism that caught my ear:

DP: So what does it mean, can you give a thumbnail sketch of what you mean by "authoritarian"?

JD: Yes, I can, there are two types of authoritarians. There are authoritarian followers, often dubbed in the social sciences as right-wing authoritarian followers -- that's based on testing, uh, anonymous testing, uh, the databases that i've relied on are, are remarkably extensive --

DP: Yeah, but that's not a definition, that's just telling us that --

JD: Hold on, I'm laying predicates before I give you definitions. Ahh, what you have with the authoritarian personality who is a follower is a person who is easily submissive to an authority figure, or an authority concept. They are very aggressive once they submit to that authority --

DP: How about "non-questioning obedience", is that a fair one-sentence definition? Non-questioning obedience to an authority figure?

JD: Well,I've seen descriptions like that; that's less than precise for purposes of testing people, ummm... Maybe for descriptive purposes that works but, I try to rely on hard sciences.
The inventor of authoritarianism, Theodor Adorno, is most famous for his 1950 book "The Authoritarian Personality" and the "F Scale". See the famous witch-dunking scene from Monty Python's The Holy Grail for further details on methodology.

Or, take the test here. It's set in a vanished time, but it's still fun. I got a perfect F-Score of 3.6 -- add your own in comments.

By the way, you can subscribe to Prager's podcast here. (As authoritarian personalities who believe that nothing worth having is achieved without suffering, they don't make it easy to find out how to get the feed. Be warned.)


Sky Captain said...

When plain meaning isn't enough and 'hard sciences' have to be invoked, it is a sign that somebody is trying to invalidate truth and substitute obedience to an opinion which is buried under the trappings of authority.

Sky Captain said...

By the way, my score was 2.57, which made me a 'liberal airhead'.

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