More for Us or More for Me? Social Dominance as Parochial Egoism

More for Us or More for Me? Social Dominance as Parochial Egoism

By
Eliran Halali, Anna Dorfman, Sora Jun, Nir Halevy
Social Psychological and Personality Science. March
2018, Vol. 9, Issue 2, Pages 254-262

Intergroup interactions allow members of advantaged groups to cooperate with in-group and out-group members alike (universal cooperation), cooperate with in-group members exclusively (parochial cooperation), or withhold cooperation altogether. These behaviors impact the intergroup hierarchy differently; therefore, individuals’ ideological support of intergroup hierarchy may predict their choices among them. Universal cooperation is inherently egalitarian and hence inconsistent with social dominance orientation (SDO). Although parochial cooperation strengthens the in-group relative to the out-group, and hence consistent with SDO, it is unclear to what extent members of advantaged groups higher in SDO are willing to pay the costs associated with participation in parochial cooperation. Studies conducted across three distinct intergroup contexts in the United States and Israel consistently find that SDO coincides with behavioral selfishness, a pattern we label parochial egoism. These findings illuminate a gap between individuals’ ideological worldview and their social behavior and elucidate the motivational meaning of SDO.