Beyond a Shadow of Doubt: The Psychological Nature of Dogmatism

By J. J. Johnson.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper expands on Rokeach’s original construct of dogmatism outlined some fifty years ago in his classical treatise The Open and Closed Mind. It draws from Altemeyer’s definition and measurement of dogmatism as well as the Big Five dimension of Closed (or Closedness) to articulate a comprehensive framework for three broad domains of characteristic subtraits: the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural. Collectively, these features form an embryonic classification system that expands earlier concepts of dogmatism. While the theory proposed here assumes that dogmatism is a personality trait consisting of 13 subtraits, six of which are necessary to determine trait presence, empirical tests on the construct validity of these subtraits are necessary to support the interpretative and explanatory framework of the model. It is hoped that research on these fundamentals will advance our psychological understanding of the psychological nature and manifestations of dogmatism.

Keywords: Authoritarianism, Dogmatism, Open-minded, Closedness

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.149-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 674.641KB).

Dr. J. J. Johnson

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Judy J. Johnson, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB. She has presented several seminars on dogmatism to academic communities and the general public, including a paper presentation on dogmatism at the International Conference of Social Sciences, Cambridge University, UK. Her book, What’s So Wrong with Being Absolutely Right: The Dangerous Nature of Dogmatic Belief, was published by Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 2009.

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