Who Attains Status? Similarities and Differences Across Social Contexts
Social Psychological and Personality Science August 2015 vol. 6 no. 6 692-700
Nicole M. Lawless DesJardins, et al.
Informal groups form hierarchies and allocate social status in order to coordinate action and make collective decisions. Although researchers have identified characteristics of people who tend to get status, the extent to which these characteristics are context-dependent is unclear. In two studies, participants from the United States (N = 157) and Germany (N = 95) engaged in affiliative or competitive group interactions. We investigated whether the nature of the group’s task moderated the relationship between status attainment and personality. As in previous research, we found that extraversion predicted status in both competitive and affiliative contexts. In contrast, agreeableness was only associated with status in affiliative contexts. These findings underscore the importance of examining the relationship between personality and social status in context.