People tend to simultaneously endorse mutually incompatible beliefs, a tendency we have labeled doublethink. If someone is more prone to tolerating inconsistencies in their beliefs, they are more prone to doublethink. We have previously developed a scale for capturing individual differences in this tendency, and have shown that proneness to doublethink is negatively related to rational and positively to experiential thinking style, and positively related to belief in conspiracy theories. The aim of this study is to further establish the distinctiveness of doublethink as a construct and to inspect how it relates to other established personality traits.
Disintegration is a broad personality trait or disposition that can be conceptualized as psychosis-proneness, which implies certain deficits in reality testing as well as incoherent and distorted cognitions (Knezevic et al., 2017). We expect doublethink to be related to disintegration because it also implies incoherence in one's belief system.
In terms of other relevant personality traits, previous studies have explored the relationship between authoritarianism and social dominance orientation, on one side and thinking styles on the other (Cornelis & Van Heil, 2006; Kemmelmeir, 2010), but the results have been inconsistent, with one study showing only a weak negative correlation between rational thinking style and authoritarianism (Cornelis & Van Heil, 2006), and the other finding consistent correlations only between authoritarianism and intuitive thinking style (Kemmelmeir, 2010). Doublethink could potentially help further examination of the relationship between Right-Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation and cognitive style, since doublethink is related to both rational and intuitive thinking styles, and has predictive power over and above them in the domain of irrational beliefs. The same could be true for the domain of these dispositions.
Previous studies have also shown a link between doublethink and dogmatism (Rittik, 2013), as well as doublethink and traditional religious beliefs (Irwin et al., 2015), which is why we expect doublethink to be related to religiousness as well.
Additionally, we aim to test if the previously found relationship to conspiracy beliefs holds.