About the Author

Judy J. Johnson is Professor Emerita, Psychology Department, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta. Her M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses, and her postdoc fellowship at the Ellis Institute in NYC, explored the biological, social, and psychological forces that insidiously shape thirteen characteristics of dogmatism’s rigid, unique profile. Her nonfiction book, What’s So Wrong With Being Right: The Dangerous Nature of Dogmatic Belief, (Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York), and her novel, Thief of Reason (Iguana Books, Toronto), focus on dogmatism.

Following her experience as a therapist and supervisor of therapy, Johnson taught clinical psychology courses—The Theory and Practice of Psychotherapy, Personality Theory, and Abnormal Behaviour—for twenty-two years to Mount Royal University students, inmates in three federal correctional institutions, and indigenous women on the Sarcee Reserve. In the summers of 1990 and 1991, she also taught students in Gaza, Israel, during the intifadah. Judy says that the inmates in penitentiaries and students in occupied Gaza taught me as much, if not more, than I taught them. Wonderful experiences!”

Johnson has given numerous presentations on dogmatism to academics at Canadian and international universities, including Cambridge, U.K., and psychology conferences, including the Canadian Psychological Association (Toronto). She has also provided lively, interactive sessions for business organizations and nongovernmental agencies in the general public.

is a recipient of Mount Royal University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and The International Journal of Social Science’s International Award for Excellence for her paper, “Beyond a Shadow of Doubt: The Psychological Nature of Dogmatism.”

Authoritarianism: Current focus, Presentations, and Upcoming Book

Because Johnson is concerned about the march of authoritarianism across increasing numbers of western democracies, she also gives talks on the personality trait of authoritarianism, an important sub-trait of dogmatism. She hopes her third book, Whither Democracy: The Spectre of Authoritarianism will be published in 2024.