Social dominance orientation and right-wing authoritarianism as predicting factors of generalized prejudice

The purpose of this thesis was to measure Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) and Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) as predicting factors for generalized prejudice with a focus on three particular target groups, mental illnesses, the lesbian and gay community, and substance abusers. These data suggest that negative attitudes are generalized among various groups. More specifically, if an individual holds negative attitudes toward one of these groups of people, they are likely to hold negative attitudes toward other groups as well. Also, individuals scoring high in SDO and RWA indicated more negative attitudes toward all target groups (individuals with mental illnesses, individuals of the lesbian and gay community, and individuals abusing substances). The researcher also measured for participant’s views of perceived controllability for all three target groups, and found that participants who believed mental illness, homosexuality, and substance abuse were individually controllable, indicated more negative attitudes toward that particular population. Mediation analyses were conducted to see if perceived controllability explained why RWA and SDO were associated with participant’s negative attitudes toward the described target groups. Perceived controllability partially explained why higher scores on the RWA scale and the SDO scale were associated with negative attitudes, particularly toward the lesbian and gay community. However, the relationships remained significant when perceived controllability was taken into account.