Right-wing authoritarianism is a risk factor of torture-like abuse, but so is social dominance orientation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Right-wingauthoritarianism (RWA) is regularly implicated as a potential risk factor of abusive behavior, whereas social dominance orientation (SDO) is not. We compared RWA and the two subscales of SDO, SDO-Dominance and SDO-Egalitarianism, as factors behind legitimization and hypothetical self-involvement in the use of torture-like abusive behavior (a scenario from Abu-Ghraib military prison). Introducing SDO-Dominance in hierarchical multiple regression analyses decreased the strength of both RWA and SDO-Egalitarianism as predictors and in a model with all three factors in the equation only SDO-Dominance revealed a significant relation. It is argued that more work is needed to map the overlap between RWA and SDO, and that understanding of contextual factors is vital when making specific predictions regarding whether SDO, RWA, or both might lead to abusive behaviors.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Right-wingauthoritarianism, Socialdominance orientation, Abuse, Torture
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-929
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch