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The article by Thomas Costello and colleagues was a pioneer in proposing an Index of Left Authoritarianism. It is defined by a constellation of psychological characteristics: prejudice against different people, willingness to use collective authority to coerce others’ behavior, cognitive rigidity, aggressiveness and punishment against perceived enemies, overvaluation of status hierarchies and moral absolutism, among others.
Costello himself, in a more recent article co-authored by Christopher Patrick, from Florida State University, makes the caveat that its index needs adjustments such as reducing points to consider. “Currently, it is difficult to know whether certain characteristics are central or peripheral to authoritarianism, and to what extent,” the scientists say. Also, they are not sure which of the 21 points are more characteristic of leftist authoritarianism or authoritarianism in general.