Social dominance orientation: Revisiting the structure and function of a variable predicting social and political attitudes

Arnold K. Ho, Jim Sidanius, Felicia Pratto, Shana Levin, Lotte Thomsen, Nour Kteily, Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social dominance orientation (SDO) is one of the most powerful predictors of intergroup attitudes and behavior. Although SDO works well as a unitary construct, some analyses suggest it might consist of two complementary dimensions-SDO-Dominance (SDO-D), or the preference for some groups to dominate others, and SDO-Egalitarianism (SDO-E), a preference for nonegalitarian intergroup relations. Using seven samples from the United States and Israel, the authors confirm factor-analytic evidence and show predictive validity for both dimensions. In the United States, SDO-D was theorized and found to be more related to old-fashioned racism, zero-sum competition, and aggressive intergroup phenomena than SDO-E; SDO-E better predicted more subtle legitimizing ideologies, conservatism, and opposition to redistributive social policies. In a contentious hierarchical intergroup context (the Israeli-Palestinian context), SDO-D better predicted both conservatism and aggressive intergroup attitudes. Fundamentally, these analyses begin to establish the existence of complementary psychological orientations underlying the preference for group-based dominance and inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-606
Number of pages24
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • SDO
  • SDO-Dominance
  • SDO-Egalitarianism
  • hierarchy-enhancing and -attenuating social policy
  • legitimizing ideologies
  • social dominance orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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