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Lecture 18

Lecture 18 notes

Course Code
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

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Lecture 18 Social Power and Hierarchy
Social hierarchy
Describe everything being talked about
Implicit or explicit
oImplicit or explicit is that we may be very clear of who is in higher status or
conversely or might not know definitively that someone is higher in rank but
we know it in an associative level. You dont have to say that you have more
power, you can just sense that and that would be implicit social ranking
oRank order in order for something to be hierarchy there has to be at least
two levels. One level of status or power that is slightly above the other.
oValued social dimension people are ranked according to what matters to the
group that is doing the ranking.
Social Power
We think of resources like money but in animals or social groups food matters a lot
or water, but also such as businesses could be supplies to do your work
The person who has power decides how to allocate these resources how much
money they’re going to pay the janitors in the corporation compared to the managers
Power Hierarchy
Income level reflects your social power
People who are really rich are said to have more social power
Social Status
Closely related to power
A lot of people confuse these two concepts
Status exists in the eyes of other people and it is conferred to people by other people
You cant create your own status
You can do things to make people respect you or admire you more, but it is those
other people that choose what your status is
Status Hierarchy

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Another subtype of a social hierarchy, when there is a rank ordering according to the
amount of respect from others
Power hierarchy will change when your control over resources change but with
status hierarchy will change if no one likes you anymore
Formal Hierarchies
Everybody knows what the roles and ranks are
Roles vary by rank order
Higher ranking roles have higher value
Formal hierarchy is a company you have your board, your CEO, vice presidents, unit
directors, managers within those unites, and then unique project directors and then
normal employees
Defined set of roles and those roles are clearly defined
People move between roles
Reporting structures company for example will have to fill out reports and send
that report to somebody and who they send that report to is higher in that status
Organizational charts ceo at the top, vice presidents underneath them, if you can
form a chart then its a formal hierarchy
Greater value in the hierarchy positions
The sources of value are both control over resources and deferences from
subordinates less likely to insult the chair of my department because that would be
Because of that, he is in a subordinate position and so you would be more polite to
them than you might be to someone else
Typically an assumption of legitimacy in formal hierarchy
If I meet a professor who is a full professor, then I know they went through the whole
song and dance
You have to publish and do groundbreaking things to become a professor

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Informal Hierarchies
There are not clear roles or ranks but their hierarchy still exists
High school students are all equal so how do they have a higher rank than others,
but it is still there
Organic you plant a bunch of seeds and they grow, it is natural in terms of the way
the hierarchy begins to grow. It is informal because you arent the cool kid
Person who gets all the attention, they’re the highest ranking
Attention, Power & Status
Attention plays a key role in social hierarchies
We give more attention to higher ranked individuals
We systematically pay less attention to lower ranked hierarchies
We ignore them and take attention away from them
This is the idea of how the lose the status within the group
Attention applies to both high power and high status individuals
Attention is our social currency, something we can give to others, if we care about
hierarchy then we want to gather for ourselves
Attention and Power Among Humans
Erber & Fiske
oOne participant and 1 confederate interact in dyads (just two people)
oYou as the participant come into the lab and you are told you may or not win
this extra prize. Either you tell this for half the participants and this
confederate will choose if you win the prize and the other half werent told it
oThey were shown a series of information about the confederate, looking time
was measured in seconds. If youre paying attention to this person then youre
going to look at the information longer
Whether or not the confederate had power over them
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