Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Experimental Psychology

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Lucian Gideon Conway, III

Commitee Members

Rachel L. Severson, Stephen M. Yoshimura


psychology, authoritarianism, persuasion


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Social Psychology


Past research reveals a strong connection between feeling threatened and Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA). This relationship is considered to be an integral part of authoritarianism and the nature of its presence in the left-leaning populace is still being fully explored. This study examined the relationship between perceived threat and Left-Wing Authoritarianism (LWA) through the framing of persuasive messages. Participants (n = 256) were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and given a list of reward- or threat-framed statements concerning the possible ramifications of voting in future elections and then asked to rate the quality and persuasiveness of the respective statements. Participants then completed one of two measures of authoritarianism (LWA or RWA). Regression analysis found no significant interactions between the measures of authoritarianism and the perception of message persuasiveness/quality. Patterns of the results and possible future directions for the research are discussed.



© Copyright 2020 James Donald McFarland