You agree? If you do there is a high probability that you are what behavioural scientists call a Right-Wing Authoritarian (RWA). This trait is defined as a combination of submitting to authority, usually a leader, aggression against any groups that don’t submit and an adherence to social norms that are perceived as sanctioned by the authority and society in general. RWAs are usually to the political right as the term suggests but they can be left as well.
If you’re a liberal you probably wouldn’t want to hire an RWA for a job, but research has consistently linked this trait with another trait called Conscientiousness. People with this trait are more reliable, hard-working and competent than other people. And they are very unlikely to break the law. Of course, not every RWA is conscientious or the other way around, but there is a distinct overlap between these traits.
Why is that? On this there is less research. But most likely the common factor is orderliness, which is one important aspect (or facet) of conscientiousness. A person with this trait wants very clear rules on how things should be done. And if you do things differently he may perceive you as a threat and vote for a politician who insists that we should all do things in a certain way.
The human brain doesn’t like thinking about these matters. It likes to sort things in good and bad. And most of us think of the conscientious person as a good guy (although maybe a bit dull) and the RWA as a decidedly bad person, at least most of us on WordPress : ) To think of these traits as getting along within on single person is problematic. But that’s what personality psychology teaches us – people can’t be fitted into such simple categories as good and bad. And anyone who thinks they can is probably a bit of an RWA himself.