EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium
Volume 11, Special Issue 1, 2019
Authortarianism, Life Histroy, and a Preattentive Response to Threat
Widman, D. R., & Dunwoody, P. T.
Both authoritarianism and Life History Strategy Theory (LHS) have been shown to affect reactions to threat; individuals high in Authoritarianism tend to view the world as more threatening. Those with slow life histories are more risk averse and detect greater levels of threat than those with faster life histories. However, for both of these, the predominant measures of threat have been paper and pencil self-report. We report the results of a study utilizing a preattentive measure of threat, emotional pop-out. Participants’ authoritarianism and life history strategy were measured and the participants then completed an emotional pop-out procedure where there were 3 X 3 grids of either one threatening image (snake or spider) in eight non-threatening images (flowers or mushrooms) or one non-threatening image in eight threatening images. Results revealed a typical emotional pop-out effect over all, but no effect of either RWA or Mini-K on the reaction times. There was also a significant correlation between RWA and Mini-K, with those high in RWA being more likely to have a slow life history strategy. For both authoritarianism and LHS, the lack of effect on the emotional pop-out effect either may be due to the threat assessment effect requiring cognitive processing by individuals or may be due to the specific, phylogenetic threat used here.
How to cite this article:
Widman, D. R., & Dunwoody, P. T. (2020). Authortarianism, life histroy, and a preattentive response to threat. The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 11, Sp. Iss. (1), 44-56.