HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 46 no. 1 (2013)

Social Dominance Orientation and Attitudes towards the Poor: Contrasting Lower and Higher Socioeconomic Groups in the Philippines

Allan B. I. Bernardo

Discipline: Sociology, Social Studies



Social dominance orientation (SDO) is the endorsement of unequal and hierarchical relationships between social groups, and research in other countries shows that SDO is associated with negative attitudes towards different subordinate or disadvantaged social groups. The paper reports the results of four studies (combined N = 652) that examine the relationship between SDO and attitudes towards poor people in samples from lower and higher socioeconomic groups in the Philippines. Study 1a and 2a showed that SDO predicted eight different measures of positive and negative attitudes and cognitions about the poor among participants from higher socioeconomic groups. Study 1b and 2b found no such relationship between SDO and the key variables among participants from lower socioeconomic groups. The results are discussed in terms of the ideological asymmetry hypothesis which posits that SDO may be motivating the negative attitudes and related cognitions towards the poor in individuals from higher socioeconomic groups as a way of providing a justification for their privileged status and for the maintenance of social hierarchies in Philippine society.