Authoritarians Authoritarian leaders (Social dominators)

Social dominator measuring scales

by Bob Altemeyer

From: [2006] The Authoritarians” by Bob Altemeyer

The Personal Power, Meanness and Dominance Scale
Exploitive Manipulative Amoral Dishonesty (“Exploitive-MAD”) scale.

Look over this “Power Mad” scale to get an idea of what goes on in dominators’ minds:

The Personal Power, Meanness and Dominance Scale

It’s a mistake to interfere with the “law of the jungle.” Some people were meant to dominate others. (Agree)

Would you like to be a kind and helpful person to those in need? (Disagree)

“Winning is not the first thing; it’s the only thing.” (Agree)

The best way to lead a group under your supervision is to show them kindness, consideration, and treat them as fellow workers, not as inferiors. (Disagree)

If you have power in a situation, you should use it however you have to, to get your way. (Agree)

Would you be cold-blooded and vengeful, if that’s what it took to reach your goals? (Agree)

Life is NOT governed by the “survival of the fittest.” We should let compassion and moral laws be our guide. (Disagree)

Do money, wealth, and luxuries mean a lot to you? (Agree)

It is much better to be loved than to be feared. (Disagree)

Do you enjoy having the power to hurt people when they anger or disappoint you? (Agree)

It is much more important in life to have integrity in your dealings with others than to have money & power. (Disagree)

It’s a dog-eat-dog world where you have to be ruthless at times. (Agree)

Charity (i.e. giving somebody something for nothing) is admirable, not stupid. (Disagree)

Would you like to be known as a gentle and forgiving person? (Disagree)

Do you enjoy taking charge of things and making people do things your way? (Agree)

Would it bother you if other people thought you were mean and pitiless? (Disagree)

Do you like other people to be afraid of you? (Agree)

Do you hate to play practical jokes that can sometimes really hurt people? (Disagree)

It would bother me if I intimidated people, and they worried about what I might do next. (Disagree)

I will do my best to destroy anyone who deliberately blocks my plans and goals. (Agree)

Social dominance scores correlate very strongly with these answers to the Power Mad scale. High scorers are inclined to be intimidating, ruthless, and vengeful. They scorn such noble acts as helping others, and being kind, charitable, and forgiving. Instead they would rather be feared than loved, and be viewed as mean, pitiless, and vengeful. They love power, including the power to hurt in their drive to the top.

Here are the items from another measure I’ve concocted, called the Exploitive Manipulative Amoral Dishonesty (“Exploitive-MAD”) scale. Again, high social dominators’ responses, compared with others, really open your eyes.

Exploitive Manipulative Amoral Dishonesty (“Exploitive-MAD”) scale.

You know that most people are out to “screw” you, so you have to get them first when you get the chance. (Agree)

All in all, it is better to be humble and honest than important and dishonest. (Disagree)

There is really no such thing as “right” and “wrong.” It all boils down to what you can get away with. (Agree)

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and never do anything unfair to someone else. (Disagree)

One of the most useful skills a person should develop is how to look someone straight in the eye and lie convincingly. (Agree)

It gains a person nothing if he uses deceit and treachery to get power and riches. (Disagree)

Basically, people are objects to be quietly and coolly manipulated for your own benefit. (Agree)

Deceit and cheating are justified when they get you what you really want. (Agree)

One should give others the benefit of the doubt. Most people are trustworthy if you have faith in them. (Disagree)

The best skill one can have is knowing the “right move at the right time”: when to “soft-sell” someone, when to be tough, when to flatter, when to threaten, when to bribe, etc. (Agree)

Honesty is the best policy in all cases. (Disagree)

The best reason for belonging to a church is to project a good image and have contact with some of the important people in your community. (Agree)

No one should do evil acts, even when they can “get away with them” and make lots of money. (Disagree)

There’s a sucker born every minute, and smart people learn how to take advantage of them. (Agree)

The end does NOT justify the means. If you can only get something by unfairness, lying, or hurting others, then give up trying. (Disagree)

Our lives should be governed by high ethical principles and religious morals, not by power and greed. (Disagree)

It is more important to create a good image of yourself in the minds of others than to actually be the person others think you are. (Agree)

There’s no excuse for lying to someone else. (Disagree)

One of the best ways to handle people is to tell them what they want to hear. (Agree)

The truly smart person knows that honesty is the best policy, not manipulation and deceit. (Disagree)