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Validity of the construct of Right-Wing Authoritarianism and its measure in post-socialistic region: A case of the Czech Republic

posted Mar 10, 2017, 1:09 PM by Naomi Naghi   [ updated Mar 15, 2017, 2:21 PM ]
Johana Chylikova1 & Martin Buchtik 
Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 7, Issue: 1, Online First
Date: June 2016
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: This article presents an analysis of the construct validity of the Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) scale measured on a nationally representative sample of respondents in the Czech Republic. The authors – adhering to a paradigm of internationally comparative research – test whether the RWA scale, which was originally developed in the North American cultural milieu, can serve as a valid measurement instrument in a significantly different cultural environment. The test consists of an examination of the scale’s factorial structure, which has been set in the theory as unidimensional. To examine the possibility that the RWA measure was biased by a systematic method bias – the acquiescent response style (ARS) – several models were specified in confirmatory factor analysis. The analysis showed that the RWA scale in the Czech Republic is not unidimensional and that Czech respondents have a tendency to consciously agree both with the pro-authoritarian and anti-authoritarian items of the RWA scale and that this tendency is not caused by the ARS effect. The authors conclude that the construct of right-wing authoritarianism operationalized in the RWA scale cannot be validly measured in the Czech Republic and suggest a possible explanation of the different factorial structure of Czech RWA data. 
Keywords: Authoritarianism; RWA Scale; Construct Validity; Cultural Differences; Response Style. 
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