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

Matthew B. Kugler, Joel Cooper, Brian A. Nosek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-155
Number of pages39
JournalSocial Justice Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Authoritarianism
  • Political psychology
  • Prejudice
  • Social Dominance Orientation
  • Social identity
  • System justification


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