Why does social dominance orientation decrease with university exposure to the social sciences? The impact of institutional socialization and the mediating role of “geneticism”
Version of Record online: 5 MAR 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 39, Issue 1, pages 88–100, February 2009
How to Cite
Dambrun, M., Kamiejski, R., Haddadi, N. and Duarte, S. (2009), Why does social dominance orientation decrease with university exposure to the social sciences? The impact of institutional socialization and the mediating role of “geneticism”. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 39: 88–100. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.498
- Issue online: 29 JAN 2009
- Version of Record online: 5 MAR 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Received: 13 JUN 2006
Why does university exposure to a hierarchy-attenuating (HA) academic major (e.g., social science) lead to a decrease in anti-egalitarianism and group domination (social dominance orientation, SDO)? The reason for this well-documented phenomenon remains unclear. In the social sciences, the origins of differences in both behavior and personality are attributed more to social and environmental factors than to genetic ones. We hypothesized that the normative and informational influences of this academic major would lead to perceptions that genes have a less important role than nurture in the shaping of human behavior and personality. Our main hypothesis was confirmed. Decreased SDO among psychology students was mediated significantly by a decrease in belief in genetic determinism, the factor we called “geneticism.” Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.