Title of Abstract

Predicting Economic Conservatism through measures of Deference to Prestige and Exploitive Motives

Submitting Student(s)

Josephine Chestnut

Session Title

Additional Projects

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Jeffrey Sinn, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Ideology researchers have shown that Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) predicts economic conservatism. The present study draws on Schwartz Value Theory (SVT) to identify other potential predictors related to power and achievement. Based on studies showing deference to luxury symbols and distinctions between dominance and prestige hierarchies, we posit that individuals might vary in their tendency to defer to prestigious or wealthy individuals; therefore, we examine two measures of deference to prestige (DTP). Additionally, given research suggesting SDO reflects an exploitive motive, we also examine exploitive motives as potential predictors of economic conservatism, specifically sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Economic conservatism was measured with a 10-item scale focused on issues related to redistribution and government intervention in the economy (e.g., raising taxes on the wealthy, raising the minimum wage, and welfare). DTP was operationalized as deference to the wealthy for expertise and “great-man” attributions for financial success, and exploitive motives were assessed through measures of sadism, psychopathology, and Machiavellianism. Hierarchical regression determined that both DTP measures accounted for variance in economic conservatism left unexplained by SDO. No exploitive motives were found to predict economic conservatism; however, sadism emerged, contrary to our hypothesis, as a weak negative predictor.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Predicting Economic Conservatism through measures of Deference to Prestige and Exploitive Motives

Ideology researchers have shown that Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) predicts economic conservatism. The present study draws on Schwartz Value Theory (SVT) to identify other potential predictors related to power and achievement. Based on studies showing deference to luxury symbols and distinctions between dominance and prestige hierarchies, we posit that individuals might vary in their tendency to defer to prestigious or wealthy individuals; therefore, we examine two measures of deference to prestige (DTP). Additionally, given research suggesting SDO reflects an exploitive motive, we also examine exploitive motives as potential predictors of economic conservatism, specifically sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Economic conservatism was measured with a 10-item scale focused on issues related to redistribution and government intervention in the economy (e.g., raising taxes on the wealthy, raising the minimum wage, and welfare). DTP was operationalized as deference to the wealthy for expertise and “great-man” attributions for financial success, and exploitive motives were assessed through measures of sadism, psychopathology, and Machiavellianism. Hierarchical regression determined that both DTP measures accounted for variance in economic conservatism left unexplained by SDO. No exploitive motives were found to predict economic conservatism; however, sadism emerged, contrary to our hypothesis, as a weak negative predictor.