Social and biological intergroup hierarchy beliefs: A cross-cultural comparison between the US and South Korea

Hyeyoung Shin, John F. Dovidio, Jaime L. Napier, Charles G. Stangor, James S. Uleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present research investigated social and biological intergroup hierarchy beliefs in the US and South Korea, representative Northern European-heritage and East Asian cultures, respectively. We hypothesized that individual-orientation (the emphasis on individuals and individual achievements) and group-orientation (the emphasis on groups and efficient functioning of groups) would predict social and biological hierarchy beliefs differently within and between these cultures. As expected, intergroup hierarchy beliefs were stronger in South Korea than in the US, particularly for biological hierarchy beliefs. Multigroup structural equation modeling analyses revealed that group-orientation predicted intergroup hierarchy beliefs across cultures, but more strongly in South Korea than in the US. Also, an emphasis on individual achievements predicted social hierarchy beliefs only in the US, whereas an emphasis on roles/positions within groups predicted social and biological hierarchy beliefs only in South Korea. Results implied that intergroup hierarchy beliefs may be generally associated with group-orientation and the value of competence or efficiency in each culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-477
Number of pages23
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2018



  • biological hiearchy
  • culture
  • individual/group-orientation
  • intergroup hierarchy beliefs
  • social hierarchy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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