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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Rising stars and sinking ships: Consequences of status momentum Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
14 March 2013
Venue:
Building 44 (Shackleton) Room 3095 University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email A.Marchi@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

Differences in rank are a ubiquitous feature of social life. Moving beyond the traditional static view of social hierarchy, a series of experiments examine how inter-temporal changes in rank influence people's status judgments. When final rank is held constant, people, products, and institutions are judged as higher-status when this position is preceded by an ascent rather than descent in the hierarchy; and, these judgments impact downstream pricing recommendations, willingness-to-pay for products, and influence accepted from others.

Differences in rank are a ubiquitous feature of social life. Moving beyond the traditional static view of social hierarchy, a series of experiments examine how inter-temporal changes in rank influence people's status judgments. When final rank is held constant, people, products, and institutions are judged as higher-status when this position is preceded by an ascent rather than descent in the hierarchy; and, these judgments impact downstream pricing recommendations, willingness-to-pay for products, and influence accepted from others. This impact of rank history on our current status judgments is accounted for by expectations of future status, and moderated by the involvement of the self: self and others are afforded an equivalent status boost for ascending to a given rank, however only the self is pardoned the status tax that is levied on others for descending to this rank. Following up on the role of self in social-hierarchy, three additional studies further demonstrate that rising to the very top produce among its winners a sense of entitlement: a sense of self-deservingness that justifies all means, and armed with this inflated self-view, winners embezzled funds from the experimenter, deceived fellow participants, and misrepresented their achievements in the service of benefiting the self. Together, these studies highlight the transformative effects changes within hierarchy have on the self.

Speaker information

Dr Niro Sivanathan, London Business School. Research focuses broadly on the psychology of the self, and its influence on decision-making. Additionally, research also explores how social hierarchy, through the psychological experience of power and status, regulates our judgment and behaviours.

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