Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Taylor, Mary Anne

Committee Member

Moore , Dewayne

Committee Member

Switzer , Fred

Committee Member

Connor-Greene , Patricia

Committee Member

Kowalski , Robin


In the present study, social dominance theory (SDT) was used as a framework for understanding reactions to affirmative action policies and beneficiaries. Specifically, this study examined how social dominance orientation, perceptions of inequities, and attitudes toward diversity impact these reactions. The results of the study provide support for several of the predictions derivable from SDT. Social dominance orientation (SDO) had a direct influence on participants' endorsement of two legitimizing myths: perceptions of race-based inequities and attitudes toward diversity. Moreover, endorsement of these legitimizing myths was directly related to support for affirmative action and reactions to beneficiaries of affirmative action.



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