The tolerance of inequality: Psychological needs for control and social hierarchies

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Individuals often espouse egalitarian ideals, yet social hierarchies and their inherent inequality are ubiquitous in human societies. We propose that one reason this occurs is because hierarchies can fulfil psychological needs for structure and order that are elicited when personal control is low (Kay et al., 2008)—even for subordinate positions that lack power or status. In 4 studies we demonstra...

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