Individual Differences in Responses to Global Inequality


  • This research was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council, FOR 481, STE 938/9–1, MI 747/3–1).


One of humanity's most pressing problems is the inequality between people from “developed” and “developing” countries, which counteracts joint efforts to combat other large scale problems. Little is known about the psychological antecedents that affect the perception of and behavioral responses to global inequality. Based on, and extending, Duckitt's dual-process model, the current research examines psychological antecedents that may explain how people in an industrialized Western country respond to global inequality. In two studies (N1 = 116, N2 = 117), we analyzed the relationship between the Big Five and justice constructs, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), social dominance orientation (SDO), and behavioral intentions to reduce global inequality. Two-group path analysis revealed support for the dual-process model in that RWA and SDO were important predictors of behavioral intentions and partially acted as mediators between personality and such intentions. Moreover, justice sensitivity explained variance beyond the “classic” DPM variables. In Study 2, we additionally assessed individuals’ global social identification and perceived injustice of global inequality that explained additional variance. Extending previous work on the dual-process model, these findings demonstrate that individual and group-based processes predict people's responses to global inequality and uncover potentials to promote behavior in the interest of global justice.