Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Heller, Ayline
Decker, Oliver
Clemens, Vera
Fegert, Jörg M.
Heiner, Scarlett
Brähler, Elmar
Schmidt, Peter
Title: Changes in authoritarianism before and during the COVID-19 pandemic : comparisons of latent means across East and West Germany, gender, age, and education
Online publication date: 25-Jan-2023
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: Modern theories of authoritarianism have stressed the importance of threat to the expression of authoritarian attitudes and intolerance. Arguably, authoritarian tendencies may have increased during COVID-19 pandemic, a major threat to life and security. One issue arising when comparing mean scores is that of measurement invariance. Meaningful comparisons are only possible, if latent constructs are similar between groups and/or across time. This prerequisite is rarely ever tested in research on authoritarianism. In this study, we aim to analyze the short scale for authoritarianism KSA-3 by investigating its measurement invariance on two levels (three first-order and one second-order factors) and latent mean changes using two German representative samples (N = 4,905). Specifically, we look at differences before and during the pandemic (2017 vs. 2020). While measurement invariance holds across both levels in all conditions, we find a decrease in latent means in 2020, contrary to expectations and established theories. Moreover, latent means differ with regard to gender, education, and east–west Germany. We conclude that analyses of latent means and measurement invariance instead of mean comparisons with composites should become the standard. Future studies should focus on threat as a moderator between authoritarianism and intolerance, and on possible interactions with context variables.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
Information on rights of use:
Journal: Frontiers in psychology
Pages or article number: 941466
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Publisher place: Lausanne
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 1664-1078
Publisher DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.941466
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

Files in This Item:
  File Description SizeFormat
changes_in_authoritarianism_b-20230124115503259.pdf488.74 kBAdobe PDFView/Open