The influence of social dominance orientation and right-wing authoritarianism on environmentalism

A five-year cross-lagged analysis

Samantha STANLEY, Taciano L. Milfont, Marc S. Wilson, Chris G. Sibley

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Social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) are ideological attitudes that predict lower concern for the environment and less willingness to act on climate change. Research generally shows that SDO and RWA exhibit moderate, negative relationships with environmentalism. We examine the longitudinal influence of SDO and RWA on people’s willingness to change their behaviour to benefit the environment in a national probability sample over five years. We show that both ideological attitudes relate to lower environmentalism across time and that the SDO effect was stronger than the RWA effect, yet the association from environmentalism to later endorsement of SDO is stronger than the reverse. Interestingly, these findings suggest that the more likely temporal association flows from environmentalism to SDO.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0219067
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019


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