The compelling quality of the Global Change simulation study (), in which high RWA (right‐wing authoritarianism)/high SDO (social dominance orientation) individuals produced poor outcomes for the planet, rests on the inference that the link between high RWA/SDO scores and disaster in the simulation can be generalized to real environmental and social situations. However, we argue that studies of the Person × Situation interaction are biased to overestimate the role of the individual variability. When variables are operationalized, strongly normative items are excluded because they are skewed and kurtotic. This occurs both in the measurement of predictor constructs, such as RWA, and in the outcome constructs, such as prejudice and war. Analyses of normal linear statistics highlight personality variables such as RWA, which produce variance, and overlook the role of norms, which produce invariance. Where both normative and personality forces are operating, as in intergroup contexts, the linear analysis generates statistics for the sample that disproportionately reflect the behavior of the deviant, antinormative minority and direct attention away from the baseline, normative position. The implications of these findings for the link between high RWA and disaster are discussed.
Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2003