Peer effects on authoritarianism – Evidence from the Norwegian Armed Forces
Speaker(s)Andreas Kotsadam (University of Oslo, Norway)
LocationTinbergen Institute Amsterdam, room 1.01
Date and time
September 19, 2023
15:30 - 16:30
We explore the social basis of authoritarian orientations, proposing that attitudes are molded by perceptions of what is adequate in a given social setting. We test this proposition through a pre-registered field and survey experiment in the Norwegian Armed Forces, randomly assigning soldiers to different rooms and finding that assignment to roommates with higher levels of authoritarian orientations increased soldiers' own authoritarianism. Further survey-experimental evidence reveal that learning about others' authoritarianism levels changed both perceptions and attitudes. The findings suggest that authoritarian orientations have a social basis, rather than being a deeply held and stable orientation shaped merely by formative experiences.