Social dominance orientation and stereotype influence perception of social distance between classes

Pei Wang1, Chen-hao Tan2, Wei Wu2, Xin-Min Luo2
1Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China
2Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Wang, P., Tan, C., Wu, W., & Luo, X. (2019). Social dominance orientation and stereotype influence perception of social distance between classes. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47, e5990.

Volume 47 Issue 4 | e5990 | Published: April 2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.5990

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Social dominance orientation (SDO) and stereotypes about out-groups can influence social distance significantly. We tested the effects of these 2 factors on social distance and a probable mediation effect of upper class stereotype with participants from lower class groups of Chinese people in 3 studies (N = 105 in Study 1; N = 102 in Study 2; N = 112 in Study 3). The results in Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that higher SDO and a more positive stereotype elicited less social distance between lower class and upper class members. In Study 3, the mediation effect of stereotype was also significant. These results provide insight into the mechanism of the perceived social distance between social classes, which is meaningful for social harmony in China.

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