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Social Dominance Orientation

  • By: Kimberly Rios Morrison & Oscar Ybarra
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Social dominance orientation (SDO) is a measure of an individual's support for group-based hierarchies. It reflects a person's attitudes toward hierarchies in general, as well as beliefs about whether one's own group should dominate other groups. People with high SDO believe that society should be structured in terms of inequality, with some groups at the top (i.e., possessing more power and resources) and others at the bottom. People with low SDO, in contrast, believe that society should be structured in terms of equality, with no single group dominating others.

Background and Importance

Social dominance orientation is based on social dominance theory, which was developed by Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto. According to social dominance theory, all societies are composed of group-based hierarchies. Group-based hierarchy refers to ...

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