Social dominance orientation

Social dominance orientation (SDO) measures social and political attitudes. Measurement is a procedure, when a number is assigned to an object, event, attitude etc. It is measured by a so-called Lickert scale, what social psychologists use base to generate scales from responses to statements. A frequently used version permits five answers (strongly disagree; disagree; neither agree nor disagree; agree, strongly agree). To generate a scale, numbers are assigned to each answer (from 1 to 5). Here are some textbook examples, you may check your attitude:
Western civilization has brought more progress than all other cultural traditions.
Lower wages for women and ethnic minorities simply reflect lower skill and education levels.
Patriotism is the most important qualification for a politician.
If not executed, murderers will commit more crimes in the future.
SDO measures attitude for inequality between social groups. While measurement refers to the present, it also predicts future behavior. ”SDO also predicts support for group-relevant social policies that uphold the hierarchical status quo, such as support for wars of aggression, punitive criminal justice policies, the death penalty and torture, and opposition to humanitarian practices, social welfare, and affirmative action” 38 .
How does our brain help us to know our social rank? Do you remember how you spent the first days in your newest job? I would guess many of us collected information about the formal and informal relationships among people. We learn soon the formal hierarchical relationship. It might be useful to uncover the structure of the gossip network. (It was easy to notice that a colleague having his office adjacent to mine seemed to know everything from everybody in our small campus. So for me it is a viable strategy to visit him occasionally to update myself about recent (and future) local events.
Modern neuroscience has combined brain imaging devices and computational techniques to uncover some mechanisms about how people’s brain processes information on social hierarchy 39 .
An exciting field, social neuroscience uncovers the brain regions and neural mechanisms
related to reflecting ranks and dominance. Studies have shown that a brain region called the dorsolatereal prefrontal cortex might play a significant role in the prevalence of employment discrimination against women or ethnic minorities, which is directly related to the conservative and hierarchy-enhancing attitudes indexed by the social dominance orientation (SDO) scale.
So what? Assuming neural determinism, may an ultraconservative guy may tell ”it is not me, only my prefrontal cortex”. I leave the story here and let the Reader to think on it.

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