Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

For power and status, dominance and skill trump likability

19.12.2012
Finding the next Barack Obama or Warren Buffett might be as simple as looking at who attracts the most eyes in a crowd, a new University of British Columbia study finds.

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.

Backgrounder

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!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

Further reports about: Psychology Social Psychology UBC eye-tracking technology

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>