Debating the Debunkers and The Authoritarian Personality

Sorry if this is a repost!

My experience of the debunkers is that they appear to have this personality type in SPADES

Here's where you start on Wikipedia

Here's a reading list on the Authoritarian Personality some directly about the affects of 911 on the right Wing Authoritarian Personality available from Academic Libraries

Baars, J. and P. Scheepers (1993). “Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of the Authoritarian Personality.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 29(4): 345-353.
This article provides a history of the theoretical and methodological contributions, particularly Erich Fromm's, of the sub-syndromes of the concept of authoritarianism and the relationship of his work to the classical study by Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson and Sanford.

Christie, R. (1978). “Authoritarian Personality - Adorno,Tw.” Human Nature 1(4): 90-93.

Cohrs, J. C., B. Moschner, et al. (2005). “The motivational bases of right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation: Relations to values and attitudes in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 31(10): 1425-1434.
Research suggests that different motivational dynamics undo-lie right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO). These differences may be framed in the theory of basic human values. RWA may trace back to conservation versus openness-to-change values, and SDO to self-enhancement versus self-transcendence values. Based on a large-scale German sur-my, associations of RWA and SDO with personal values and attitudes in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, were analyzed. Results indicated that RWA related more strongly than SDO to conservation values and threat-related attitudes toward Islam as an expression of the motivational goals of social control and security, whereas RWA and SDO related equally to se (enhancement versus self-transcendence values and concern for negative consequences of military action as an expression of the motivational goal of altruistic concern. Thus, the motivational bases of RWA and SDO appear to be only partly different. Univ Oldenburg, D-2900 Oldenburg, Germany. Univ German Armed Forces, Munich, Germany. Univ Trier, D-54286 Trier, Germany.

Crowson, H. M., T. K. Debacker, et al. (2006). “The role of authoritarianism, perceived threat, and need for closure or structure in predicting post-9/11 attitudes and beliefs.” Journal of Social Psychology 146(6): 733-750.
The authors examined relationships among authoritarianism, personal need for closure or structure, perceived threat, and post-9/11 attitudes and beliefs. Participants were 159 undergraduate students in the Southeastern United States. The authors collected data I week before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Correlation and regression analyses revealed that right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation were significant predictors of support for restricting human rights during the U.S.-led War on Terror, support for U.S. President George W. Bush, and support for U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Right-wing authoritarianism and perceived threat emerged as the strongest predictors of the belief that Saddam Hussein supported terrorism. Univ Alabama, Dept Human Dev & Family Studies, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA.

Duckitt, J. (2006). “Differential effects of right wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation on outgroup attitudes and their mediation by threat from and competitiveness to outgroups.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 32(5): 684-696.
A dual-process model of individual differences in prejudice proneness proposes that Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) and Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) will influence prejudice against particular outgroups through different motivational mechanisms. RWA should cause negative attitudes toward. groups seen as threatening social control, order, cohesion, and stability, such as deviant groups, and negativity toward these groups should be mediated through perceived threat from them. SDO should cause negative attitudes toward groups that activate competitiveness over relative dominance and superiority, such as socially subordinate groups low in power and status, and negativity toward these groups should. be mediated through competitiveness toward them. Findings from four student samples that assessed attitudes toward seven social groups selected as likely to vary systematically in social threat and social subordination supported these predictions. The findings have implications for reconciling intergroup and individual difference explanations of prejudice and for interventions to reduce prejudice.

Hassler, M. (2002). “Memories and traces.” Neuroendocrinology Letters 23(5-6): 379-384.
Research on personality as a useful construct to understand people's behavior in conflict situations was traced over more than fifty years, and an attempt was made to add neurobiological parameters to psycho-socio-culturel approaches. As a starting point, scientists in exile have been called to mind who had been expelled from Nazi Germany for their Jewish origins. Among them were Adorno and Frenkel-Brunswik who's extensive studies on the authoritarian personality structure were quoted. In their work, personality was defined as a more or less enduring organisation of forces within the individual helping to determine responses in various situations, which is responsible for consistency in behavior. As a next step, Cloninger's psychobiology of personality traits was presented. In his personality concept, four temperamental traits (novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependency and persistence) and three character dimensions are included. Temperamental traits are heritable, developmentally stable, emotionally based, uninfluenced by social learning, and linked to specific brain biological features. The temperaments have a certain neuroendocrinological feature which can be determined. Character dimensions develop in a stagelike process from infancy to adulthood and are influenced by temperament, social learning, genetic factors, and random life events. Personality is still considered a useful theoretical approach to conflict management research and practice. A neurobiological point of view seems to be a useful supplementation in addition to traditional psycho-socio-cultural approaches. Measuring biological compounds can supply the conflict manager with an additional tool of knowledge enhancing the ability to understand and anticipate conflict behavior. Univ Tubingen, Ctr Conflict Management, Tubingen, Germany.

Heaven, P. C. L., L. A. Organ, et al. (2006). “War and prejudice: A study of social values, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation.” Personality and Individual Differences 40(3): 599-608.
Examined the extent to which prejudice is best predicted by right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and the social values national strength and order and international harmony and equality. We measured attitudes to the Iraq war and people of Middle Eastern descent among a community sample of Australian adults (N = 148) residing in a large population centre of New South Wales. No significant differences in attitudes were evident between respondents who provided data prior to the commencement of the war and those who provided data after this date. Multivariate analyses revealed attitudes to people from the Middle East to be significantly affected by age and level of education. Structural equation modelling found support for the hypothesis that values predict RWA and SDO and that these, in turn, predict attitudes. These results are discussed with reference to the nature of RWA and SDO as well as the important role that values play in shaping prejudicial attitudes. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Hing, L. S. S., D. R. Bobocel, et al. (2007). “Authoritarian dynamics and unethical decision making: High social dominance orientation leaders and high right-wing authoritarianism followers.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92(1): 67-81.
When dilemmas require trade-offs between profits and ethics, do leaders high in social dominance orientation (SDO) and followers high in right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) make decisions that are more unethical than those made by others? This issue was explored in 4 studies with female participants per-forming managerial role-playing tasks. First, dyads comprising a person who was either low or high in SDO and a person who was either low or high in RWA negotiated for a leadership position. People high in SDO were more likely to obtain leader positions than to obtain follower positions. No other effects were significant. Second, leaders high in SDO partnered with an agreeable (confederate) follower made decisions that were more unethical than those of leaders low in SDO. Third, followers high in RWA were more acquiescent to and supportive of an unethical (confederate) leader than were followers low in RWA. Fourth, high SDO leader-high RWA follower dyads made decisions that were more unethical than those made in role-reversed dyads because leaders had more influence. Implications of these results for conceptualizing SDO, RWA, and authoritarian dynamics are discussed. Univ Waterloo, Dept Psychol, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada.

Hoffman, J. (1965). “The Authoritarian Personality - Adorno,Tw, Frenkelbrunswik,E, Levinson,D, Sanford,Rn.” Contemporary Psychology 10(11): 500-500.

Koller, M. (1995). “Authoritarianism, Projection, and Person Perception - What Do Authoritarians Infer from Anothers Attempt to Rebut a Rumor.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology 17(1-2): 199-212.
In the course of a field study, subjects first filled out a short form of the California F Scale (Adorno, 1973). In addition, one group of subjects was led to reflect on an episode in which a rumor had proven to be true. Another group of subjects was led to reflect on an episode in which they themselves had been a target of an unjustified accusation. A third (control) group did not undergo a priming procedure. All subjects read a brief newspaper advertisement in which a person issued the warning to take legal proceedings if anyone continued to spread untrue rumors concerning him. Subjects were asked to give reasons why the person initiated the rebuttal. High authoritarians, as identified by their responses to the California F Scale, were more likely than low authoritarians to infer anxiety, paranoia, and guilty conscience as motives for the rebuttal. This effect was particularly pronounced in the two priming conditions. Further, authoritarians evaluated the target person more negatively than did nonauthoritarians. The interpretation of the results dwells on repressive developmental and environmental forces causing the authoritarian style and the role of projection in person perception.

Liberman, P. (2007). “Punitiveness and US elite support for the 1991 Persian Gulf War.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 51(1): 3-32.
There is a substantial moralistic streak in U.S. elite attitudes about war against states perceived as evil. Among opinion leaders, death penalty supporters were substantially more likely than opponents to support the 1991 Gulf War, condone the Iraqi death toll, and favor escalating the war to topple Saddam Hussein. These relationships persist after controlling for ideology, nationalism, and instrumental beliefs about force and thus probably result from individual differences in retributiveness and humanitarianism, moral values known to underlie death penalty attitudes. Foreign policy expertise moderated this effect only on the regime change issue, and then only moderately, suggesting that "moral punitiveness" might also influence the thinking of decision makers. President George H. W. Bush evidently felt real moral outrage during the crisis about Iraq's aggression, but he refrained from escalating the war to punish Saddam more severely for it. CUNY, Grad Ctr, New York, NY 10021 USA.

Martin, J. L. (2001). “The authoritarian personality, 50 years later: What lessons are there for political psychology?” Political Psychology 22(1): 1-26.
Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, and Sandford's The Authoritarian Personality is probably the most deeply flawed work of prominence on political psychology. The methodological, procedural, and substantive errors of this study are well known, but they are frequently simply attributed to poor methodological judgements, issues of scaling (such as response set), or Freudian theories that legitimated circular interpretations. But a more fundamental bias arose from the attempt to empirically verify the existence of a "type" of person whom the researchers thought dangerous and with whom they did not empathize. This attempt involved two dangerous procedures: (1) the fusion of nominalist research procedures (in which empirical results were used to type respondents) with a realist interpretation of types (in which some people "just were" authoritarians. These subtler problems have haunted contemporary work in political psychology that avoids the methodological problems of Adorno et al.; Altemeyer's work on authoritarianism, which not only is free from the defects of the Adorno et al. study but also involves some methodologically exemplary experiments, is similarly distorted by asymmetries. The Authoritarian Personality as a cautionary example of bias arising from the choice of methodological assumptions.

Middendorp, C. P. (1993). “Authoritarianism - Personality and Ideology - Their Political Relevance and Relationship to Left-Right Ideology in the Netherlands (1970-1985).” European Journal of Political Research 24(2): 211-228.
The concept of authoritarianism has generally been considered a personality construct, although the approach of Adorno et al. was inspired by previous approaches with an ideological 'fascist' angle. These two approaches were, to an appreciable extent, mixed in later conceptualizations. Here, I propose their disentanglement. The classical Adorno et al. F-scale is considered a personality variable. Apart from that, an ideological libertarianism-authoritarianism dimension is constructed, partly validated by its relationship to a shortened unidimensional version of the F-scale. The personality variable of authoritarianism is shown to have no substantial empirical relationship to voting intentions in the Netherlands. However, the ideological measure of authoritarianism is relatively strongly and stably associated with intended voting behaviour. The study also clarifies the ongoing debate over the relationship between authoritarianism and left-right ideology. The weak relationships between measures of authoritarianism and left-right ideology signify the existence of 'left-wing authoritarianism' in the Dutch population.

Montiel, C. J. (2006). “Political psychology of nonviolent democratic transitions in Southeast Asia.” Journal of Social Issues 62(1): 173-190.
This research examined social psychological aspects of nonviolent democratic transitions in Southeast Asia at the close of the 20th century. Researchers interviewed prodemocracy activists who participated in the Philippines' People's Power Revolution, Cambodia's Dhammayietra (Buddhist Walk for Peace), and East Timor's peace and liberation movement. Sets of open-ended vernacular questions were custom-built to fit each country's unique transition to democracy. In addition, the author used as a data source her personal experiences in the Philippines as a leader of street politics during People's Power. Findings show similar social psychological factors across all three politically-transformative episodes in Southeast Asia. Shared characteristics include a history of systemic violence, loosening up of the authoritarian regime, violence toward the prodemocracy activists, spiritual orientations of social commitments, networking-mobilizing skills used to confront an authoritarian state, building a social infrastructure to produce massive force, and conscientizing for active nonviolence.

Roiser, M. and C. Willig (2002). “The strange death of the authoritarian personality: 50 years of psychological and political debate.” History of the Human Sciences 15(4): 71-96.
In 1950 Adorno et al.'s The Authoritarian Personality study warned that American society contained a minority of individuals whose characters made them prone to become fascists in certain circumstances and that this was a danger common to contemporary industrial society. After early acclaim critics argued that the main threat came from left-wing authoritarian individuals. But research in several countries failed to establish their existence. We trace and evaluate this debate, largely defending the original research. Subsequent argument suggested that the concept of authoritarianism was becoming outdated in post-industrial society, a view that we strongly challenge. While defending the diagnosis and purpose of the original research, we conclude by endorsing the argument-that authoritarianism is better described in terms of attitude rather than personality. This gives a clearer psychological description of political movements of the far right and offers more direct measures for their reduction. City Univ London, Dept Psychol, London EC1V 0HB, England.

Rubinstein, G. (1995). “Right-wing authoritarianism, political affiliation, religiosity, and their relation to psychological androgyny.” Sex Roles 33(7-8): 569-586.
The authoritarian personality is characterized by a traditional attitude towards gender roles that reflects its conservative ideology [T. W. Adorno, E. Frenkel-Brunswik, D. J. Levinson, and R. N. Sanford (1950) The Authoritarian Personality, New York: Norton]. The present study investigated the relationship between S. L. Bem's [(1974) sex roles ''The Measurement of Psychological Androgyny,'' Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 42, pp. 155-162], on the one hand, and right-wing authoritarianism [RWA; B. Altemeyer (1988) Enemies of Freedom: Understanding Right-Wing Authoritarianism, San Francisco], political affiliation, and religiosity level, on the other Subjects were 365 Jewish undergraduate students (227 women and 138 men) at a number of universities; 81 were second generation Israelis, 90 were children of Ashkenazic parents, 75 were children of Sephardic parents, and 113 were children of parents from mixed background. They completed Altemeyer's RWA scab and a shortened version of Bem's Sex Role Inventory. Political affiliation and religiosity level (variables strongly linked to the authoritarian personality theory) were also measured. Among women, the RWA mean score of the cross-sex typed subjects was significantly lower than that of the sex-typed and the undifferentiated subjects, and most of the cross-sex typed women supported the political left and defined themselves as secular while among men, no statistically significant RWA, political affiliation, and religiosity differences were found between Bem's four personality types. These results highlight gender differences in the relationships between authoritarian personality and gender-role identification. While it seems that cross-sex-typed women. tend to rebel against the status quo, the question of why similar patterns do not appear among men still remains open to speculation.

Smith, M. B. (1997). “The authoritarian personality - Adorno,TW, FrenkelBrunswik,E, Levinson,DJ, Sanford,RN.” Political Psychology 18(1): 159-163.
The author revisits his contemporary review of The Authoritarian Personality (TAP) in the light of subsequent developments in research and theory. In spite of warranted criticism of the F-Scale, the major substantive findings of TAP have held up well. Whether they ni-e better understood in terms of psychoanalytic psychodynamics or Bandura's social learning theory remains controversial. The role of the four authors is briefly examined.

no body, you obviously know alot about this


Could you kindly let us know how 9/11 truthers can break through to the authoritarian personality?


email me your response, so I don't have to keep checking back here. Thanks.

We're working on it please help!

Hi GeorgeWashington

what's your e-mail address?

"Could you kindly let us know how 9/11 truthers can break through to the authoritarian personality?"

George we know a bit about this and we are currently researching further.
we have the help of a practising and well qualified psychologist.

It should be pointed out that the roots of this personality type are very deep extending back to childhood - a dominating father for example. Further programming takes place say in a military boot camp.

Here are a couple of ideas.

First undermine their authority figures e.g. the administration - point to the EPA having to lie about the air quality at ground zero. Use any examples of experts lying to cover up you can think of.

Use the video of John Gross lying about the molten metal at ground zero.
followed by the first responders story of boots melting.

This combination works at a very powerful level.

If the Debunker you are debating shows no empathy for the First Responder then you are probably dealing with a psychopath who also has TAP (The Authoritarian Personality) You probably have no chance of winning an argument using evidence and reason alone if this is the case.

the NIST report is full of "pathological science"

For example NIST claim that there was a slow creep in the towers before they collapse. They support this claim with a non-time stamped photo and the testimony of a guy in a helicopter. Creep can be directly measured by measuring from a known point on the building to the roof in the last frame of video before the collapse begins. This is an empirical measurement i.e. Scientific truth - this kind of science is more authoritative than the pathological science of NIST. David Ray Griffin said in an recent interview with Jack Blood - "It's time to get Empirical"

In other words you undermine their authority figures which let's face it isn't too difficult.

Kevin Ryan has written some very good articles pointing out the pathalogical nature of the science carried out by NIST.
and his response to NIST which I don't have the Url for but its on

TAP humans show no introspection if you can get them to do some introspection then it is possible for them to realise why they do what they do, But don't hold your breath.

Recognising TAP dosn't mean there are easy ways to win the argument they won't respond to reason and evidence in the same way as you or I do.
So no magic bullet I'm afraid. But knowing what you are dealing with will help you in how you formulate your arguments and will win over the less programmed non psychopathic types.
It would appear that transcendence of the self does not occur and their motivation is to bolster the self.

Our research is continuing and we'll be writing more on this soon. We'll try to keep you posted.

it would be helpful If people read the stuff on Wikipedia (its a pretty good grounding). and post any observations you may have if you have met this personality type in your experiences on blogs as comments to this blog entry.


click here to see his email

click here to see his email address (to prevent spam bots):

I visit a forum called

I visit a forum called channel 4 news forum powered by eve.It is appalling,no matter how much evidence you give debunkers will not accept they are wrong.When confronted with evidence they retort with child like venom and personal attacks.I explain that i have an engineering degree and have 36 years of experience working in the nucleur defence industry and it makes no difference.They will not accept my thoughts using my knowledge and experience but resort to personally attacking me.My deduction is that they are terminal under achievers stuck in dead end jobs and have no life.Being a debunker gives them a sense of superiority they cannot get anywhere else.The reason they underachieve is because they have a superiority complex without any substance to back it up and as such they are always ridiculed by their peers.They get disrespect and disdain every day of their lives.Instead of being talked down to by all and sundry they choose to talk people down under the anonimity of the internet.These are sad people who would prefer to be anybody than be themselves.Please visit that forum and help me out as i feel like a lone voice.Prepare to be shocked by the level of ignorance though.

cannel 4 news

We'll check it out
From what you describe it looks like you're dealing with TAP.

What is the URL?


TAP at

There is a classic TAP at who goes by the acronym "shcb" which stand for short haired country boy. The guy claims to be a 50ish independent business owner of a machine shop near Denver. Has posted on lots of threads, look for his debates with the truther "knarlyknight".

shcb quotes government and right wing sources, but refuses to consider independent thinkers or anything resembling "conspiracy". Often he writes condescendingly, ridiculing "liberals" and eh tells silly stories that somehow he thinks prove his opinions about the governments version of events above other facts presented to him.


Thanks for the input


Does any one have any links to engineering articles or quotes that clearly state that the WTC or any Steel skyscraper is built to bear its own weight many times over?

I need it for a current debate with an ass of a bedunker that is not willing to accept the 50% cut first story columns and the 2000% increase in live loads on the perimeter.

I have been argueing with him for almost 2 days trying to convince him that the WTC could carry its own weight many times over.

Or the Maximum design load.


Help me shout 9/11 articles on:

There's this ay Journal of 9/11 Studies

It talks about 500% redundancy of the perimeter columns, and 167% for the core columns.

Nice job arguing. I've been trying to do the same at DKos.

Great thanks

There is a statement over at

"Steel structures like bridges and buildings are typically designed to withstand five times anticipated static loads and 3 times anticipated dynamic loads."

I would love to find an Independent engineering source that would make the same claim.

P.S. I just checked your argument, and it is obvious that we both share the same stupidity of those that argue against us, either accusing us of being wackos or nutjobs.


The person I was debating did not even understand what average density was.....


Help me shout 9/11 articles on:

Density = stupidity

as in his density is far beyond the average debunkers density, no doubt... why do we bother with these clowns who are so uneducated and so under exposed to the principles of scientific reasoning as to be nothing but parrots for their masters (whom they do not even realize are their masters)... sigh...



Data for debating debunkers study

Reams of data here:

There are multiple threads on 911 debating Riverwind, Stignasty, Wilber, PeterF. I have seen threads with over 15000 readers on this forum started a few times. This is only one but there are two more on that forum that should still be there.

Note Riverwind claims to be an engineer yet is consistently wrong on everything scientific 100 % of the time, as pointed out by one of the truthers.

Scary stuff.

Its like penetrating the earth - you only get so far then you hit rock.


Thanks Doug Plumb

Having read the thread It looks like PolyNewbie who posts for the truth shows certain mild forms of TAP

Alex Jones certainly exploits TAP in the way he presents the evidence. His method is to scare humans with TAP with a more frightening Internal enemy (more frightening than the external threat)