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The Dampening Effect of Social Dominance Orientation on Awareness of Corruption: Moral Outrage as a Mediator

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Abstract

The present study aimed at exploring the role of social dominance orientation (SDO) on awareness of corruption and the mediating effect of moral outrage on this relationship. To accomplish the objectives, we performed three empirical substudies with both correlational and experimental designs. In Substudy 1, SDO, moral outrage, and awareness of corruption were all measured with scales. The results indicated that SDO was negatively with moral outrage and awareness of corruption. In addition, moral outrage mediated the relationship between SDO and awareness of corruption. In Substudy 2, awareness of corruption was measured in a bribery scenario, and the results also indicated that moral outrage mediated the dampening role of SDO on awareness of corruption. In Substudy 3, SDO was manipulated by placing respondents in a dominant or a subordinate condition. The results indicated that compared with the subordinate position condition, the respondents primed by the dominant position condition reported less moral outrage and lower awareness of corruption. The three substudies consistently confirmed the dampening effect of SDO on awareness of corruption and the mediating effect of moral outrage on this relationship. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive comments. We also would like to thank Dr. Cheryl J Wakslak for providing us with the moral outrage scale. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support provided by Beijing Social Science Foundation (13ZHB027), the Program of the Co-Construction with Beijing Municipal Commission of Education of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71071021), and Social Sciences Foundation of Shandong Province (13CQZJ09).

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Tan, X., Liu, L., Huang, Z. et al. The Dampening Effect of Social Dominance Orientation on Awareness of Corruption: Moral Outrage as a Mediator. Soc Indic Res 125, 89–102 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0838-9

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