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The Differential Effects of Right-Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation on Political Intolerance



Decades of scholarship have identified several determinants of political intolerance, including authoritarianism and normative threat. Previous attempts in the literature to associate other individual difference variables (i.e., social dominance orientation [SDO]) and situational variables (i.e., out-groups' gains in power and status) have been unsuccessful. Using a dual-process motivational (DPM) model framework, in Study 1 we found that SDO predicted political intolerance of groups with hierarchy-attenuating political objectives. This relationship was consistent over and above other well-known predictors of political intolerance, including right-wing authoritarianism (RWA). RWA predicted intolerance of groups with both hierarchy-attenuating and cohesion-reducing objectives. In Study 2, we manipulated whether an immigrant-rights group was described as presenting a normative threat or as gaining power and status. Consistent with extant findings, RWA moderated the effect of normative threat on political intolerance. More interestingly, SDO moderated the effect of gains in power and status on political intolerance. The implications of these findings are discussed.