Group-Based Dominance and Authoritarian Aggression Predict Support for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Jake Womick, Tobias Rothmund, Flavio Azevedo, Laura A. King, John T. Jost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In three convenience samples (combined N = 3,755) and one nationally representative survey (N = 1,500), we investigated whether and how right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) were associated with support for Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In all samples, facets of RWA and SDO predicted support for Trump (compared to other Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian candidates), even after adjusting for demographic factors and religious affiliation. In comparison with supporters of other Republican candidates, Trump supporters were consistently higher in group-based dominance and authoritarian aggression (but not submission or conventionalism). These results highlight the real-world significance of psychological theories and constructs and establish that Trump voters were uniquely driven by the desire to dominate out-group members in an aggressive manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Keywords

  • authoritarianism
  • political ideology
  • social dominance orientation
  • voting behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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