Differentiated Evaluation of Counter-Conditioned Stimuli as a Function of Right-Wing Authoritarianism
Right Wing Authoritarianism (i.e., RWA) is associated with enhanced conservatism and social prejudice. Because research linking RWA to attitudes is largely correlational (i.e., it provides control for neither RWA nor attitude learning), it is not clear how RWA relates to attitude learning dynamics. We addressed this question in 11 evaluative conditioning experiments that ensured rigorous control of the affective learning setting. Results from two integrative data analyses suggest that (i) individuals scoring higher in RWA show a stronger acquisition of positive attitudes, and that (ii) the residuals of this stronger acquisition remain even after exposure to counter-attitudinal information. Implications of these findings for research on RWA and its link to social prejudice are discussed.