Why social dominance theory has been falsified

John C. Turner*, Katherine J. Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    97 Citations (Scopus)


    Schmitt, Branscombe and Kappen (2003) and Wilson and Lui (2003) present a persuasive series of studies which raise major problems for the conceptualization of social dominance orientation in social dominance theory. Building on these and other data in the literature, this commentary summarizes six fundamental criticisms which can be made of the theory. We conclude that social dominance theory is flawed by conceptual inconsistencies and has been disconfirmed empirically in relation to its key hypothesis of behavioural asymmetry. The reaction of subordinate groups to the social hierarchy is better explained by social identity theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)199-206
    Number of pages8
    JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


    Dive into the research topics of 'Why social dominance theory has been falsified'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this