8. I'm pure, others are evil. The authoritarian represses his/her
aggressive and sexual feelings, then projects those traits on to
stereotyped persons in the outgroup (see defense mechanisms in
chapter 5). For example, it was Larry King's and other white men's
dishonesty, laziness, hatred, and sexual urges that got projected to
the black man (see quote above). The authoritarian, therefore, feels
surrounded by people preoccupied with sex and/or violence. The
psychoanalysts who wrote The Authoritarian Personality say the sexual
fears come from an unresolved Oedipus or Electra complex. The
hostility comes from childhood (see #2 & #3 above) too and
throughout their lives authoritarians expect criminal acts nearby and
terrorists' attacks around the world. They become paranoid, believing
many people want to hurt them (which justify their aggression?).
9. Ethnocentrism: Everything of mine is better than yours--my
country, my religion, my kind of people, my family, and my self.
Research has also shown the authoritarian is more prejudiced and
more prone to punish people (including their own children) to get them
to work harder or to do "right" (Byrne & Kelley, 1981).
This picture of an authoritarian isn't pretty. How many of these
people are there? Zimbardo's "prison study" suggests that the
potential for authoritarianism may be quite high, given the right
circumstances. It is estimated that at least 80% of us have prejudices.
Hostility (especially the you-are-not-my-equal and I-don't-care-about-
your-type) abounds in the world. Milgram's study of obedience (in
chapter 8) suggests 65% of us would physically hurt someone if told to
do so by an authority. Also, in that chapter we will see that most of us
conform to social pressures in dress, in opinions, in behavior. Maybe
there are parts of an authoritarian personality inside all of us.
Like all behavior, prejudice has multiple causes
Duckitt (1992) summarized the causes of prejudice: (1) universal
psychological processes in all of us, such as displacement of anger, projection
of our undesirable personality traits to others, disliking people who are
"different," etc., (2) dynamics between groups, such as competition for jobs,
exploitation of one group by another, etc., (3) passing on of prejudiced
attitudes, such as family-subgroup pressures to favor and discriminate
against certain types of people, explanations of behavior (crime, desertion of
family, drug use) are handed down to young people, etc., and (4) certain
individual tendencies to be critical and unfair, such as authoritarians, angry
people looking for someone to attack, persons with low self-esteem, etc.
Since the causes are complex, the solutions may be complex too.
Integration: Does it reduce racial prejudice?
In the last 45 years we have had a lot of experience with integration as a
solution to racial discrimination. We should feel proud of those efforts but how
well have they worked? It depends on how desegregation is done. Is it true
that as we get to know each other better we will see that our prejudices are
untrue? Only under certain conditions. If blacks and whites live as equals in