Authoritarian Personality

This theory holds that prejudice is part of a broader, global personality type. The classical example is the work of Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, and Sanford (1950). Adorno and his colleagues postulated the existence of a global bigoted personality type manifesting a variety of traits revolving around personal insecurity and a basic fear of everything and everyone different. Such individuals are believed to be highly repressed and insecure and to experience low self-esteem and high alienation. In addition, they tend to be highly moralistic, nationalistic, and authoritarian; to think in terms of black and white; to have a high need for order and structure; to view problems as external rather than psychological; and to feel anger and resentment against members of all ethnic groups.

· Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory: This maintains that individuals have a natural propensity to strive toward a positive self-image, and social identity is enhanced by categorizing people into in-groups and out-groups.

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