Social Justice Research

, Volume 23, Issue 2–3, pp 117–155 | Cite as

Group-Based Dominance and Opposition to Equality Correspond to Different Psychological Motives



Social Dominance Orientation, one of the most popular individual differences measures in the study of generalized prejudice, can be understood as having two components: Opposition to Equality (OEQ) and support for Group-Based Dominance (GBD). We consider these components in terms of system justification theory and social identity theory. We find that each component best explains different kinds of political views, consistent with the theory that they arise from different motivations. OEQ reflects system justification motives. It better predicts attitudes towards redistributive social policy, political conservatism, and a lack of humanitarian compassion for the disadvantaged. GBD reflects social identity motives. It is more associated with hostility toward outgroups and concerns about intergroup competition. GBD and OEQ have different personality and demographic correlates, exhibit distinctive relations with explicit and implicit attitudinal preferences, and differentially predict a variety of policy attitudes. Use of GBD and OEQ as separate constructs enriches the understanding of prejudice, policy attitudes, and political ideology.


Social Dominance Orientation Political psychology Prejudice Authoritarianism Social identity System justification 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew B. Kugler
    • 1
  • Joel Cooper
    • 2
  • Brian A. Nosek
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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