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Amidst the economic, political, and social turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, contrasting responses to government mandated and recommended mitigation strategies have posed many challenges for governments as they seek to persuade individuals to adhere to prevention guidelines. Much research has subsequently examined the tendency of individuals to either follow (or not) such guidelines, and yet a ‘grey area’ also exists wherein many rules are subject to individual interpretation. In a large study of Canadians (N =1032, Mage =34.39, 52% female; collected April 6, 2020), we examine how social dominance orientation (SDO) as an individual difference predicts individual propensity to ‘bend the rules’ (i.e., engaging in behaviors that push the boundaries of adherence), finding that SDO is significantly and positively associated with greater intentions toward rule- bending behaviors. We further find that highlighting a self-oriented or in-group identity enhances the rela-tionship between SDO and rule-bending, whereas making salient a superordinate-level identity (e.g., Canada) attenuates this effect. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
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