Social dominance orientation and intergroup bias: The legitimation of favoritism for high-status groups

Shana Levin, Christopher M. Federico, Jim Sidanius, Joshua L. Rabinowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

84 Scopus citations


Based on both classical and contemporary perspectives on the psychology of legitimacy, it was hypothesized that the pattern of relationships between social dominance orientation (SDO) and favoritism for high-status groups would depend on the status of one's group and the perceived legitimacy of the group-based status distinction. Among members of high-status groups, SDO was expected to be positively related to favoritism for the high-status group at both high and low levels of legitimacy. Among members of low-status groups, SDO and high-status group favoritism were only expected to be positively related when the system was perceived to be legitimate. The results of two studies provided a clear pattern of support for these expectations. Implications for social dominance theory and other perspectives on the psychology of legitimacy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-157
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2002


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