Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Relationships among Social Dominance Orientation, Social Axioms, and Values

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Relationships among Social Dominance Orientation, Social Axioms, and Values

Article excerpt

We adopted 2 cross-culturally validated instruments, developed for the measurement of human values (Schwartz's value model) and generalized beliefs (Leung and Bond's social axioms model), to examine their relationships with the perceptions of legitimacy, permeability, and social dominance orientation (SDO) in a group of 383 Turkish university students. The results showed that the students' perceptions of legitimacy were positively related to their conservation values and the religiosity belief dimension, and negatively related to openness to change and self-transcendence values. We also found that the permeability scores were positively correlated with conservation values and religiosity beliefs, and negatively correlated with openness to change, self-enhancement values, and social cynicism beliefs. Regression analysis results revealed that generalized beliefs (social axioms) and SDO were more effective than values in predicting the legitimacy scores of participants who saw boundaries as legitimate and permeable. This pattern was reversed for participants who regarded the boundaries as illegitimate and impermeable.

Keywords: social dominance orientation, social axioms, Schwartz's value model, legitimacy, permeability, status boundaries.

Social dominance theory (SDT) stands out as a major alternative to social identity theory (SIT) as a means of explaining observed regularities in intergroup behaviors and beliefs related to hierarchical structures across societies (Huddy, 2004). It is explained in SDT how group-based hierarchies are formed and maintained, by the application of multiple levels of analysis ranging from individual disposition to cultural ideologies and governmental policies (Pratto, Stewart, & Zeineddine, 2013; Sidanius & Pratto, 1999).

Social dominance orientation (SDO), which is defined as "the extent of individuals' desires for group-based dominance and inequality" (Pratto, Sidanius, & Levin, 2006, p. 281), is a central concept in this theory at the individual level of analysis. It is predicted in SDT that individuals who score high on SDO are likely to maintain beliefs, and to support policies and practices, that maintain group dominance, whereas low-SDO individuals favor ideologies and practices that question and counter inequality (Sidanius, Pratto, Van Laar, & Levin, 2004). In addition, research findings have shown that individuals who score high on SDO tend to view the social world as a "competitive jungle characterized by a ruthless, amoral struggle for resources and power" (Perry, Sibley & Duckitt, 2013, p. 125).

SDT theoreticians suggest that there are multiple forces influencing SDO, ranging from stable individual differences in temperament and personality to the social context. For example, it has been shown that changes in the size of the status/power gap between groups are accompanied by changes in the average SDO difference between these groups in such a way that the dominant group members have higher levels of SDO, whereas the level of SDO of those in the subordinate group tends to decrease (Levin, 2004). It has been suggested that the context sensitivity of SDT is relevant even in an extreme case, such as when the status of the groups reverses (Pratto et al., 2006). In such a situation, the SDO levels of the dominant and subordinate groups also reverse. Guimond, Dambrun, Michinov, and Duarte (2003) stated in their group socialization model that SDO changes as a function of the situation, and acts to justify the advantages associated with a higher social position. They suggest that this is a socialization process that takes place in groups and can be sudden rather than gradual.

Liu, Huang, and McFedries (2008) tested this model by examining changes in SDO and right-wing authoritarianism through analysis of three waves of survey data before and after the 2004 presidential election in Taiwan. They found that the levels of SDO and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) of the lower power group increased after the election victory. …

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