Social dominance orientation and climate change denial: The role of dominance and system justification
Jylhä, Kirsti & Nazar Akrami
Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 86, pp. 108-111.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.05.041
Extending previous research, we examined whether the relation between social dominance orientation (SDO) and climate change denial reflects group-based dominance (SDO and nature dominance) or general system justification. Moreover, we examined whether the relation between personality (domineering and empathy) and denial is mediated by group-based dominance variables. The results showed that the group-based dominance variables reduce the effect of system justification on denial to nonsignificant. Also, social dominance and nature dominance explain unique parts of the variance in denial. Moreover, path analyses showed that the relations between empathy and system justification with denial are mediated by both of the group-based dominance variables, while the relation between domineering and denial is mediated only by SDO. Together, these results suggest that denial is driven partly by dominant personality and low empathy, and partly by motivation to justify and promote existing social and human-nature hierarchies. We conclude by suggesting that climate change mitigation efforts could be more successful if framed as being clearly beneficial for everybody and nonthreatening to existing social order.