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Social dominance and legitimizing myths about animal use

By L. M. Jackson, A. Gibbings

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The present study tested the hypothesis that the relation between social dominance orientation and the endorsement of legitimizing myths about the human use of nonhuman animals is moderated by the salience of that use. Eighty-two student participants read an article about agriculture that focused on either animal or crop production and then completed measures of legitimizing myths about animal use, speciesism, and social dominance orientation. In support of the hypothesis, legitimizing myths and speciesism were endorsed among people higher in social dominance orientation in the animal agriculture condition but not in the crop agriculture condition. This illustrates that when issues regarding the human use of animals are salient, people who support inequality between human groups are likely to appeal to justifications of practices in animal use that benefit humans. More broadly, it illustrates that a similar nexus between social dynamics and psychological variables sustains both human intergroup inequality and hierarchical human-animal relationships.

Publication Title Anthrozoƶs
Volume 29
Issue 1
Pages 151-160
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2015.1082771
Language English
Author Address Department of Psychology, King's University College at Western University, 266 Epworth Avenue, London, Ontario, N6A 2M3,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Anthrozoology
  4. Behavioral research
  5. Crops
  6. Health care
  7. Human behavior
  8. Humans
  9. Hygiene
  10. Mammals
  11. Men
  12. Primates
  13. Psychiatry and psychology
  14. Relationships
  15. Social Dominance
  16. Social psychology and social anthropology
  17. students
  18. vertebrates