By now everyone has heard of the Berkeley news release of a study that states the following:
Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:
Fear and aggression
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
Need for cognitive closure
And of course, this gem:
Disparate conservatives share a resistance to change and acceptance of inequality, the authors said. Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form. Talk host Rush Limbaugh can be described the same way.
Yawn. Here is the original study and their response to a peeer crtique (which I can not find), both in .pdf format.
Response: Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A. W. & Sulloway, F. J. “Exceptions that prove the rule–using a theory of motivated social cognition to account for ideological incongruities and political anomalies: Reply to Greenberg and Jonas”., Psycological Bulletin, Vol. 129, No. 3, 383-393., 2003