P. K. MUTTAGI* ATTITUDE CHANGE: IMPACT OF TRAINING FOR DEMOCRACY ...
P. K. MUTTAGI*
ATTITUDE CHANGE: IMPACT OF
TRAINING FOR DEMOCRACY
tion of the authoritarian personality by
R. Brown (65) may be cited as examples.
In the course of social living, each indi-
The instrument used in the present investi-
vidual in his own way, tries to change the gation to study attitude change, is mainly
attitudes and behaviour of the people based on the scales used in the California
around him. At the group and national study.
levels several media of mass communica-
tion are pressed into service to bring about
change in the attitudes of the people. Pro-
The technique employed in this study
paganda, publicity, advertising, training in was the one which is frequently used in
different fields and other control techniques studying specific group attitudes. In this
are employed by government bodies and investigation, an attempt, has been made to
private organisations mainly to change the investigate change in a more general pat-
attitudes of the people in the direction in tern of attitudes known as anti-democratic
which they want them to be changed. The and fascist.
process of attitude change, therefore, is an
1. THE CONCEPT AND ASSUMPTIONS
important area in social psychology where
much research is needed.
The term authoritarian is presumed to
The present investigation was undertaken be roughly equivalent to autocratic, fascist
with a view to obtaining factual data con-
or anti-democratic and its opposite is de-
cerning the change in direction, degree and mocratic. The anti-democratic and fascist
intensity of the anti-democratic and fascist tendencies are characteristics of relations
potentiality of the respondents who were among people who regard themselves and
exposed to intensive training in democracy. one another as basically unequal in values
The issue has a serious bearing on the social whereas democratic attitudes imply equal-
life of people living in a democratic set up. value relationships. The term anti-demo-
The subject matter is significant as no cratic does not refer to inequality in wealth,
attempt of this kind seems to have been skill or physical strength, but rather to the
made in this country and it will shed light way in which people regard one another.
on the vital issues which are frequently The more the people regard themselves and
debated in open societies.
each other as worthy of equal considera-
Since the publication of "The Authorita-
tion merely by virtue of their existence as
rian Personality" in 1950, by T. W. Adorno human beings, the more their relationships
and other California researchers, many will take place on democratic basis. The
investigations have been conducted in this more the mutually perceived personal value
area. The techniques and scales of the departs from equality, the more the rela-
California study have been used by sub-
tionship is likely to be characterised as anti-
sequent researchers to explore further the democratic behaviour.
concept of authoritarian personality, atti-
Social scientists presume that there is a
tudes and values. Studies reported by Bass scale of behaviour that ranges from ex-
(55), Mogar (60), Anisfied et al,
(63). tremely democratic to extremely anti-
Byrne (65) and Epstein (65), and evalua-
democratic. Individuals can be rated on
* Dr. P. K. Muttagi is Professor of Psychology, D. G. Ruparel College, Bombay-16.
P. K. MUTTAGI
such a scale in terms of behaviour—vocal or complicating fact is that personality patterns
otherwise—they usually or most characteri-
are not as easily modified or replaced as
stically display, keeping in mind that they are learned. Once these potentialities
behaviour may vary somewhat from one are developed they become integral aspects
social situation to another, but also recog-
of an individual's personality affecting the
nising that there tends to be a mode or whole style of behaviour.
norm that both democratic and anti-demo-
cratic which are socially desirable and
undesirable attitudinal patterns respectively,
represent extreme polar position and that
The major hypothesis was that intensive
most people would be grouped around the training in democracy will contribute to the
middle of such a scale.
reduction of degree and intensity of anti-
It is also presumed that both anti-
democratic and fascist value systems.
democratic and fascist ideologies differ from
each other only in degree as both are
3. THE SUBJECTS
socially undesirable attitudinal systems. They
are expressed in behaviour variously des-
The training camp was organised by a
cribed as dogmatic, rigid, strongly suppor-
non-political voluntary body* which aims
tive of traditional and conventional mid-
at preparing Indian youths for a democra-
dle-class values, and highly status oriented. tic way life. It was organised at Ranchi,
Individuals with such mentality are highly Bihar State, India. The selected male and
submissive towards people possessing female volunteers from different parts of
higher status and are domineering where India, came to the camp site for a nine
lower status individuals are concerned. days training camp. They were accom-
They possess tendencies to endorse the use modated in the same Hostel, irrespective
of power tactics, toughness in dealing with of caste, creed, language or social-econo-
failure and uncooperativeness and arbitra-
mic conditions. Separate Hostel arrange-
riness in decision making and willingness ments were made for female participants.
to use drastic methods in dealing with Nevertheless, they spent most of the day in
deviant behaviour. Further, such values the camp from 7.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. i.e.
appear to be specially suited to forming from the time of physical training till the
prejudice toward out-groups. The activities end of the last session. The participants
of Nazis and other fascist groups are often had their meals in the common dining hall.
cited as prime examples of fascism or The actual contact provided an opportu-
authoritarianism. Therefore, an individual nity to understand each other. This was
who uses or endorses harsh, punitive or necessary in view of the fact that many
violent methods can be said to be motivat-
trainees came from the neighbouring states.
ed by anti-democratic and fascist attitudes. Out of 42 trainees who attend the camp,
Further, the anti-democratic and fascist 25 participants who were present on the
value systems are learned modes of adjust-
day before he commencement of the camp
ments and their development follows were chosen for study. Most of them had
standard principles of learning. Changing University education of varying lengths of
these values means changing the minds of time and were in the age group of 20—30
the people. This is a difficult problem. A years.
* The author gratefully acknowledges the help and cooperation extended by Leslie Sawhny
Programme of Training for Democracy, Bombay.
ATTITUDE CHANGE : IMPACT OF TRAINING FOR DEMOCRACY
Catholic nuns from aboriginal tribes. They
showed more concern for upliftment of
The following were the major topics down trodden, social justice -and impor-
tance of womens' participation in the
affairs of this country.
India: The Land and the People.
Male participants, particularly those
Democratic values, Fundamental Rights, from West Bengal Expressed greater con-
Equality, Freedom, Justice, Civil Liber-
cern for bringing about harmony in edu-
ties, Democracy and Minority Rights, cational campuses and in certain parts of
Problems of Defence, India's Interna-
Bengal where social unrest is created by
tional Relations, Gandhian Philosophy, Naxalites. Some of them bitterly criticised
Citizens and Their Duties, Secularism the fascist method used by Naxalities and
and Secular Attitudes, Social Work and suggested fascist solutions to end fascism.
Voluntary Organizations, Democracy and In general, the participants were aware of
Democratic Way of Life, Democratic social problems, and appeared earnest
and Authoritarian Leadership, Role of about the training.
Leaders in Democracy, Role of Political
7.. THE INSTRUMENT
5. SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE TRAINING
The test used is a modified scale, con-
structed in Bombay* and based on the
Each lecture was followed by a discus-
Anti-semitism scale, Ethnocentrism Scale
sion. Time allotted for discussion was much and Politico-economic conservatism scale of
more than the actual time earmarked for the California studies. Suitable modifica-
the lecture. This provided an opportunity tions in the scale had to be introduced in
for each trainee to take active part in the view of the prevailing Indian conditions.
deliberations. The Director of Training The scale thus prepared is known as "Ad
made every effort to encourage each parti-
and F" scale (Anti-democratic and Fascist
cipant to express himself or herself freely. Scale). The reliability and validity of this
scale had already been established in
6. GROUP DISCUSSIONS
Bombay when it was administer-
ed to 10 religious and linguistic sample
Before the commencement of training, groups viz.,
Buddhist (nav-Buddhas), Chris-
on the day of arrival, two group discus-
tian, Hindu, Muslim and Parsee—Religious
sions, with 10 students were held. One groups, and to Gujarati, Hindi-speaking
group was made up of males and the other (North India), Maharashtrian, Sindhi and
of females. Problems like student indici-
pline, democracy and social justice were
The scale consisted of 60 items. It was
discussed. The purpose of the discussions presumed to reveal the following attitudes:
was to probe into the motivating forces
which tempted the participants to undergo
1. Submissive Attitudes, Militancy,
2. Cynicism, Conservatism and Re-
Many of the female participants were
* Details of this study have been incorporated in my Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation "An
Investigation into the Cross-Community Attitudes of Students of Undergraduate and
Postgraduate Classes in the University of Bombay", University of Bombay, 1970.
P. K. MUTTAGI
3. Criminality, Physical Attack and
only manual labour and unskill-
4. Segregation and Suppression,
5. (2.17) There always will be inferior and
5. Aggression toward Religious Mino-
superior communities. In the in-
terest of all, superior community
6. Aggression toward Linguistic Mino-
alone should rule.
6. (2.18) The tribal people and Adivasis
have not progressed because they
8. ANTI-DEMOCRATIC AND FASCIST SCALE
are incapable of mental develop-
ITEMS AND SOURCES
7. (2.19) People born in higher castes
deserve preferential treatment by
virtue of their birth.
1.(2.1)** People must have deep faith in
8. (2.20) Only sons of the rich deserve
2. (2.2) Religious preachings are to be 9. (2.21) Since Indians are unfit for self-
obeyed uncritically and without
rule, foreigners should take over
3. (2.4) Parents and religious authorities 10. (2.22) War and conflict are inevitable
should be looked upon as infal-
for the progress of mankind.
11. (2.23) Persons belonging to higher
4. (2.5) India needs more autocratic lea-
castes alone should learn the reli-
5. (2.6) Military training must be com-
12. (2.30) Some people should be forced to
pulsory for all able bodied
do manual labour even if it is
against their will.
6. (2.12) People belonging to martial races 13. (2.49) Reports of linguistic communal-
alone can fight and defend our
ism or fanaticism in India are
only exaggerations by the news-
7. (2.60) Military should take over the ad-
ministration of India.
—Cynicism / Conservatism /
tack / Violence / Fascist Solutions.
1. (2.7) No step taken is bad to wipe out
1. (2.13) Caste system is created by God
socially useless people like the
on the basis of virtues and past
insane, the crippled etc.
deeds. We have no control over
2. (2.8) Anti-social elements like crimi-
nals should be persecuted.
2. (2.14) Untouchables are born inferior.
3. (2.9) If necessary, sacrifice of a few in-
3. (2.15) Only a few communities are cap-
dividuals' lives for the benefit of
able of producing the best in
society should be encouraged.
4. (2.10) There is no use wasting money on
4. (2.16) Certain communities are fit for
treating the very old people and
** Numbers on the left side in parentheses indicate the original scale number and those on
the right side stand for the serial number in that scale.
ATTITUDE CHANGE : IMPACT OF TRAINING FOR DEMOCRACY
those suffering from incurable
9. (2.34) Freedom of political parties must
5.(2.11) Compulsory sterilization of crimi-
be completely supressed for all
nals and mentally inferior peo-
ple will prove good for the 10. (2.35) Not all persons should be allow-
ed to vote particularly when a
6. (2.28) There is nothing wrong in forced
large percentage of population is
7. (2.43) There is nothing wrong in creat-
11.(2.36) Morchas, agitations, gheraos and
ing chaotic conditions or distur-
strikes should be crushed at any
bances leading to violence if it
can establish justice and peace 12.(2.37) Trade Union movement in India
should be banned.
8.(2.51) If members from other states do 13. (2.38) The government must be kept
not learn the local language, they
informed by all the citizens
should be sent back to their res-
about their political activities.
14. (2.39) Laws of the state should be
9. (2.54) Public harassment of some lin-
exclusively in favour of the poor
guistic minorities is sometimes
good as it teaches a lesson to 15. (2.40) Women should take up feminine
positions. They should not be
10. (2.54) Beggars should be persecuted.
allowed to compete with men.
16. (2.41) There is nothing wrong in em-
—Anti-democratic scale (AD)
ploying children and minors in
Segregation / Suppression.
factories, mines, hotels etc.
1. (2.2) India should be a theocratic state. 17. (2.42) Government has every right to
2. (2.24) Citizens should take permission
detain individuals in custody in-
of the government for the sale
definitely without trial.
and purchase of their private Sub-Scale V.
—Authoritarian aggression to-
ward religious minorities.
3. (2.26) Celebrations of religious festivals
must be banned.
1. (2.44) Certain religious communities
4. (2.26) Intercommunity marriages should
should be given favourable treat-
be declared illegal.
ment due to their numerical
5. (2.29) There should be separate restau-
rants and cafe's for the people of
2. (2.46) Certain highly technical and
different religious communities.
skilled jobs should be reserved
6.(2.31) Government being the supreme
only for some religious commu-
and final authority, an individual
nities to prevent the inefficient
has no right to appeal against
communities from entry.
3. (2.48) For the sake of unity of India,
7. (2.32) All properties should belong to
there should be only one religion
the state and no individual has
followed by all.
any right to own anything.
4. (2.50) To prevent subversive activities,
8. (2.33) Newspapers and magazines criti-
religious minorities should not be
cising the government should be
employed in the establishments
P. K. MUTTAGI
like atomic energy and aircraft
from the Anti-semitism scale,
the Ethnoeentrism Scale, the
5. (2.53) High Government Offices should
be reserved for a few selected re-
Scale and the 'F' Scale used by
Adorno et at.
16, 26, 30, 39, 44 and 53 were
toward linguistic minorities.
collected from the scale pre-
1. (2.27) High Court Judges should always
pared by Rath and Sircar to
be selected from among the na-
study the attitudes and opinions
tives of the particular state.
of six Hindu Caste groups.
2. (2.45) Persons not belonging to a parti-
Other items were collected by
cular linguistic state, even though
the investigator from literature
Indians, should not be given the
same rights and privileges as
those belonging to that state.
C. ANALYSIS OF DATA AND
3. (2.47) For the sake of the Unity of
India there should be only one
language spoken by all.
The test administered provided for a five
4. (2.52) A linguistic minority community point scale.—
should not be allowed to have a
Strongly Agree, Agree, Unsure, Disagree
cultural organization of its own.
and Strongly Disagree.
5. (2.55) Place of birth should be an im-
By increasing the distance between two
portant factor in giving jobs and extreme alternatives the scores were taken
as 7, 6, 4, 2, and 1 respectively. Therefore,
6. (2.56) It is a mistake to give the same theoretical maximum score for 60 items
educational facilities to all the could be 420, while minimum remained 60.
linguistic communities in the 120 was the theoretical limit of democra-
7. (2.58) Employment exchanges should
be exclusively manned by peo-
Table 1 and 2 on the
ple of linguistic majority com-
8. (2.59) People of linguistic majority com-
From the data presented in Table 1,
munity should be given prefe-
it can be seen that the mean score of the
rence in all government and group on the first occasion before train-
ing was 193.2. Comparison of this average
with theoretical scores shows that the ave-
The following are the major sources from rage is less than 50% of the maximum, but
which the items and ideas were taken. significantly higher than 120 which is the
These items or statements were adapted to limit of democratic attitude.
suit the prevailing social conditions in
This clearly indicates that the partici-
pants possessed anti-democratic and fascist
1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22, inclinations although with rather low
29, 31, 32, 35, 37, 38, 40, 46, intensities.
49, 50, 51, 53 and 54 were taken
Comparison of this average with the
ATTITUDE CHANGE : IMPACT OF TRAINING FOR DEMOCRACY
SCORES OF SUBJECTS ON ' A D AND F' SCALE
MEAN SCORES OF THE SUBJECTS ON SIX SUB-SCALES
P. K. MUTTAGI
averages obtained in Bombay in the first score in the first test was 308, on the second
study cited previously, shows that the pre-
occasion the highest score found was 246,
sent mean is slightly higher than that of the and the lowest was 99 as against 120 in
Hindu Ss in Bombay (188.55), a religious first test. In general, there is a net gain of
group, but lower than that of Hindi Ss 20 per cent.
(198.72), a linguistic group. However, the
Further analysis of the mean reactions
fact that the participants had some degrees of Ss in the six areas chosen (vide
of anti-democratic and fascist mentality reveals that the highest reduction was
cannot be denied.
found in the two areas viz.,
The average score of the subjects after rian submission and militancy, (II) Cynic-
training was 151.8. This average is closer ism, Conservatism and reactionary tenden-
to, but still higher than by 31 points of cies. Moderate gain was in the case of (III)
theoretical democratic limit of 120. The Criminality, Physical attack, Violence and
potentialities were reduced by 41.4 points. fascist solution, and (IV) Segregation and
The net gain is almost 20%. It is apparent Suppression of democratic rights. The
that the significantly lower average score is lowest gain was in the areas pertaining to
due to "training".
aggressive attitudes toward religious and
Incidentally the mean score on the second linguistic minorities (V and VI).
occasion is lower than the moderately low
It is interesting to note that although
score found in Bombay viz.,
of Parsees there was no direct discussion on treatment
159.48, but higher than the lowest score to be given to minorities, the results show
of Christians (147), the two least anti-
that even such tendencies are reduced to
democratic scores of samples tested in some extent. Perhaps the value systems
Bombay. In other words as a result of train-
under investigation are generalised tenden-
ing the scores could be brought down to cies and reduction in one area of operation
the middle level of two groups which ex-
inevitably leads to the reduction of intensi-
hibited more pronounced pro-democratic ties of aggressive attitudes in other areas.
attitudes. This is an important finding and These results support the contemporary
throws some light on the effect of 9 days thinking on generality of attitudes. Of
training in democracy.
course, all these have got to be further veri-
Analysis of the scores of individual sub-
fied by testing similar and dissimilar
jects reveals that the training had proved samples.
very effective in reducing the intensities of
undesirable tendencies of 17 participants.
In some cases gain is not perceptible and
in some other cases gain is considerable
Several questions remain unanswered.
scores of Sr. No. 1, 16, 18 and 24). For instance, it is not known as to how
In the case of the remaining 8 participants long the effect of training persists and to
the training did not help to change menta-
what extent the changed attitude has con-
lity. In 4 cases (Sr. Nos., 3, 12, 13 and 22) tributed to expected behaviour. Similarly,
the previous anti-democratic mentality is it is not known as to why in the case of
further reinforced; that is, the training has some subjects the training has actually
backfired. This is bound to happen in all strengthened the previous mentality —
such studies where we cannot control the whether it is due to personality factors, the
previous environmental influences on the way the training is perceived or is it due
trainees. Whereas the highest individual to personality and socio-economic back-
ATTITUDE CHANGE : IMPACT OF TRAINING FOR DEMOCRACY
ground of the people who imparted training
Maintaining democratic relationships
and so on.
within and between communities means
Although it might be interesting to exa-
that problems must be resolved on the basis
mine the reasons as to why some of the of a desire to understand and consider the
subjects changed in the wrong direction or interests of all concerned. Such an approach
hardly at all and compare the characteristics is time consuming and at time leads to
of strong democratic changers vs non-chan-
lengthy negotiations. Therefore, patience,
gers, it is not possible to make such an restraint and self-control are needed to keep
analysis with the present data.
matters from regressing to drastic and arbi-
It is known that even well-planned at-
trary actions. The authoritarian mode of
tempts to modify the attitudes often suc-
behaviour has got to be prevented to make
ceed only in altering the thought-belief democracy successful and no effort, no
component without affecting feelings and matter how difficult it is, is too much.
reaction tendencies. There is a necessity of
Since the findings clearly indicate that
evolving a method which will throw light training in democracy has varied effect on
on the changes brought about in each com-
different individuals, it is necessary to know
ponent of attitudes.
why in some cases training is not effec-
It is important to measure the role of tive. Further probing should be made into
set tendencies and response biases in such the personality patterns of individuals who
have developed more anti-democratic
With regard to attitude change Zimbardo tendencies as a result of training.
and Ebbesen (69) have posed several ques-
tions. If, further research is to become
fruitful it is necessary to direct research
strategy to solve these and other relevant
The purpose of this investigation was to
measure the impact of nine days training
The results of this study throw some light in democracy on anti-democratic and
on our system of education. Efforts need fascist tendencies. A scale to measure
to be made to provide knowledge, and anti-democratic and fascist tendencies was
guidance in leading a democratic way of designed on the pattern of California scales
life to our youths so that they grow up of anti-semitism, ethnocentrism and poli-
with healthy ideas. In fact, it is the younger tical economic conservatism and was admi-
people who need such training. As young nistered to 25 randomly selected trainees
minds are receptive, this training plays an at the Ranchi Camp for training in
important role in changing such minds. democracy before and after training. The
Youths so trained will act as deterrents following are the major findings:
for unhealthy and anti-social trends pre-
vailing in contemporary Indian Society.
1. Before the training the participants
Analyses of contents of newspapers and
showed some degrees of anti-demo-
periodicals have revealed that they contain
cratic and fascist tendencies.
material which contributes to the develop-
2. After training these tendencies were
ment of unhealthy and anti-democratic
reduced. In general, the gain was
tendencies. Similarly, it has been alleged
about 20 per cent.
that even school text-books indirectly con-
3. Out of 25 subjects tested as many as
tribute to unhealthy tendencies. Something
17 participants showed change in
has got to be done in this field.
mentality in the desirable direction.
P. K. MUTTAGI
In some cases the change was not
be highest in reducing militancy,
perceptible. Gain in many cases was
cynicism, conservatism and re-
actionary tendencies, moderate in
4. In case of 4 subjects the training
reducing criminality, violence, fascist
was not very effective, but in 4 cases
solution and desire to suppress de-
there was a marked tendency of rein-
mocratic rights, and lowest in chang-
forcement in the opposite direction.
ing unfavourable attitudes toward
5. The impact of training was found to
religious and linguistic minorities.
Adorno, T. W., :
The Authoritarian Personality,
N. Y.: Harper.
Levinson, D. H.
Sanford R. N.
Anisfield, M., : "The Structure and Dynamics of the Ethnic Attitudes of Jewish
Munoz, R. and
Adolescents," Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology,
Lambert, W. E.
No. 1: 31-36.
Bass, B. :
"Authoritarianism or Acquiescence" Journal of Abnormal
Vol. 51 : 616-623.
Brown, Roger :
"The Authoritarian Personality and the Organization of
Attitudes". Chapter 10: 477-546. In Social Psychology
The Fress Press.
"Parental Antecedents of Authoritarianism". Journal of Per-
sonality and Social Psychology.
No. 1: 369-373.
"Authoritarianism, Displaced Aggression and Social Status of
the Target". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
No. 2: 585-589.
Mogar, R. E.
"Three versions of the F Scale and Performance on the
Semantic Differential". Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology,
Vol. 60„ No. 2, pp. 262-65.
Rath, R. and
"Intercaste Relationship as Reflectetd in the Study of the
Attitudes and Opinions of Six Hindu Caste Groups". Journal
of Social Psychology,
Vol. 51: pp. 3-25.
Influencing Attitudes and Changing Behaviour,
and Ebbesen, E. B.
Publishing Company, Reading, Mass.
The Indian Journal of Social Work, Vol XXXV, No. 1, (April 1974)