Wilson–Patterson Conservatism Scale

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The Wilson–Patterson Conservatism Scale (abbreviated W–P conservatism scale)[1] is a widely used survey instrument intended to measure respondents' political ideology in terms of liberalism and conservatism. It is named after Glenn Wilson and John Patterson, who developed the scale and first described it in a 1968 paper.[2] Many alternative, shorter versions of the scale have been proposed and used since the initial form was developed,[3][4][5] and the scale itself has changed its format and questions since it was first created.[6] Among the most common scales used to measure respondents' conservatism is the Wilson–Patterson Attitude Inventory, a modified version of the original W–P scale proposed by Wilson himself in 1975.[7]


  1. ^ Bell, Edward; Schermer, Julie Aitken; Vernon, Philip A. (2009). "The Origins of Political Attitudes and Behaviours: An Analysis Using Twins". Canadian Journal of Political Science. 42 (4): 855–879. doi:10.1017/S0008423909990060. ISSN 0008-4239. JSTOR 27754535.
  2. ^ Wilson, Glenn D.; Patterson, John R. (December 1968). "A New Measure of Conservatism". The British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 7 (4): 264–269. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8260.1968.tb00568.x. ISSN 0007-1293. PMID 5706461.
  3. ^ Henningham, J. P. (April 1996). "A 12-Item Scale of Social Conservatism". Personality and Individual Differences. 20 (4): 517–519. doi:10.1016/0191-8869(95)00192-1. ISSN 0191-8869.
  4. ^ Kirton, M. J. (November 1978). "Wilson and Patterson's Conservatism Scale: A Shortened Alternative Form". British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 17 (4): 319–323. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8260.1978.tb00286.x.
  5. ^ Heingartner, Alex; Wetherell, Celeste Keusch (December 1982). "Birth Order, Sex, and Socio-political Orientation in College Students". Psychological Reports. 51 (3): 891–896. doi:10.2466/pr0.1982.51.3.891. ISSN 0033-2941.
  6. ^ Bouchard, Thomas J., Jr. (2007). "Genes and Human Psychological Traits". In Carruthers, Peter; Laurence, Stephen; Stich, Stephen (eds.). The Innate Mind. Volume 3: Foundations and the Future. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 81. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332834.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-971565-7.
  7. ^ Lewis, Christopher Alan; Maltby, John (November 2000). "Conservatism and Attitude Towards Christianity". Personality and Individual Differences. 29 (5): 793–798. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00232-9. ISSN 0191-8869.