Social and ecological dominance orientations: Two sides of the same coin?

Citation:

Fatih Uenal, Jim Sidanius, and Sander van der Linden. Submitted. “Social and ecological dominance orientations: Two sides of the same coin?”.

Abstract:

Previous research highlights the role of climate change risk and threat perceptions as psychological mechanisms driving support for mitigation efforts. In this paper, we examine the role of social dominance orientation (SDO) as an antecedent of risk and threat perceptions and associated pro-environmental attitudes. Across three pre-registered studies (N = 988; USA, UK, and Germany) our results indicate that individuals high in SDO showed decreased support for climate change mitigation policies benefitting humans, non-human animals, and the natural environment alike. This relationship in turn is mediated by decreased climate change risk and threat perceptions and increased ecological dominance orientation, a general preference for an anthropocentric, hierarchical arrangement between humans, non-human animals, and the natural environment. We successfully replicate our findings using a behavioural measure. Theoretical implications for the role of social and ecological dominance orientations in shaping climate change risk and threat perceptions and pro-environmental behaviour are discussed.