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© 2016 International Society of Political Psychology. The present study extends previous research on the influence of social dominance orientation (SDO) in international affairs by investigating the role of sociocognitive processes such as social identity complexity (SIC) and intergroup dehumanization in explaining the relationship between SDO and support for Arabs' autonomy. An Italian heterogeneous sample (N = 123), in terms of gender, age, political orientation, religiosity, and income level, was considered. We expected that those low on SDO would be more likely to support Arabs' autonomy, would have higher SIC, and would be less likely to dehumanize Arabs. We also expected that SIC and dehumanization would sequentially mediate the relationship between SDO and support for Arabs' autonomy. Results revealed that Italians low on SDO have higher SIC (i.e., a more inclusive social identity) which endorses lower dehumanization of Arabs. This in turn explained the influence of SDO on support for Arabs' autonomy. These findings integrate the literature about SDO and SIC and enhance the understanding of the sociocognitive processes underlying people's support for international egalitarian movements.

Original publication




Journal article


Political Psychology

Publication Date





293 - 301