For the study, which used eye-tracking technology, participants who observed groups of strangers were able to accurately predict who would emerge as leader of the group in 120 seconds or less.
According to the study – to appear in the forthcoming Journal of Personality and Social Psychology – two sets of behaviours will accurately predict future leadership and catch people's attention. The first is prestige – the appearance of skill and competency. The second is dominance, which includes the ability to impose ideas on others through bullying and intimidation.
"Our findings suggest there are really two ways to top the social ladder and gain leadership – impressing people with your skills or powering your way through old-fashioned dominance," says lead author Joey Cheng, a PhD candidate in UBC's Dept. of Psychology. "By measuring levels of influence and visual attention, we find that people defer to and readily spot the prestigious and dominant leaders."
Surprisingly, the study finds that one's likeability – long considered essential for modern leaders – does not consistently predict the attainment of greater status. While participants preferred leaders with prestige, they were surprisingly likely to choose dominant leaders. They were also more forgiving of dominant behaviour than outside observers, the researchers say.
The findings might explain the ongoing prevalence of aggressive leaders in business and politics, such as Donald Trump or Toronto mayor Rob Ford. According to the researchers, today's dominant behaviour has evolved from resource and power battles from our evolutionary past. Prestige's viability as means of attaining status, has increased with the rise of meritocracy in society.
The study had two parts. First, 200 participants completed a problem-solving task in small groups while being videotaped. Group members rated participants' dominance, prestige and influence during the task, including their own. Participants who were more dominant or prestigious had a greater influence on the task and were perceived as more influential by group members.
In the second part of the study, 60 additional participants watched a total of 120 seconds of short videos of the initial group interactions while wearing an eye-tracking device. These participants paid significantly greater attention to individuals in the clips who appeared more dominant or prestigious, indicating their higher levels of influence.
Study co-authors include Jessica Tracy, Alan Kingstone, Joseph Henrich (UBC psychology) and Tom Foulsham (formerly UBC, now University of Essex).
Basil Waugh | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine