Dominance motivated delusions: Whites with high social dominance orientation perceive equal amounts of institutional racism between Blacks and Whites

Christopher K. Marshburn, Brandon A. Reinkensmeyer, Eric D. Knowles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Whites display an asymmetry when detecting discrimination—disparate treatment from high-status groups directed toward low-status groups constitutes discrimination but not the opposite. Whites also believe they experience just as much racial discrimination as Blacks. This latter pattern could be especially true for Whites with higher social dominance orientation (SDO)—preference for intergroup dominance and inequality. Three studies (including one pilot study) investigated whether Whites with higher (vs. lower) SDO perceived examples of institutional and individual instances of racial discrimination as evidence of racism when happening to White (vs. Black) victims. Results revealed partial support for our prediction that the asymmetry in discrimination detection for Whites with higher (vs. lower) SDO would be opposite to the previously identified asymmetry, especially for examples of institutional (vs. individual) discrimination. Implications are discussed in the context of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and 2021 Capitol siege.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • conceptions of racism
  • institutional racism
  • social dominance orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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