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Lecture 18

Lecture 18

8 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB10H3
Professor
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

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Lecture 18
Social Power and Hierarchy
Social Hierarchy
An implicit or explicit rank order of individuals or groups with respect to a valued social
dimension (there are subtypes mentioned later)
oAn implicit or explicit rank order of individuals or groups with respect to a valued social
dimension
oWe may be very clear about social status OR we might not know definitively (we might
know it at an associative implicit level you dont need to say it, you can sense it)
oRank order: there has to be at least two levels (one level of status or power that is slightly
above the other)
oValued social dimension: Criteria used to rank people within social hierarchies. People
are ranked according to what matters to the group doing the ranking
Social Power
An asymmetric control over valued resources in social relations
Based in resources, which belongs to an actor/social object (resources can be money, food, safety,
water, supplies, power/allocation of resources)
Low managers vs. high mangers and their control of resources
Power Hierarchy
One type of social hierarchy
Rank-ordering of individuals with respect to the amount of resources each controls
More common in formal hierarchies but can work at a national level
Social power
Social Status
The extent to which an individual or group is respected or admired by others
Exists entirely in the eyes of others and is conferred by them
Deals with liking and respect, NOT resources
You cant necessarily control how others view you
Status Hierarchy
A rank-ordering of individuals or groups according to the amount of respect accorded by others
Changes only as the amount of respect for a target individuals or group changes
oExample: if no one likes you anymore your status quickly changes/respect
Another type of social hierarchy
Types of Social Hierarchies
Formal hierarchies: An explicitly-set social roles that vary by rank order, with higher-ranking
roles holding greater value
oPeople move between roles, but the hierarchy exists apart from the individuals who fill a
given role at a given time (such as a large company: CEO, VP, Region Managers, Store
Managers, Assistants, Employees, Contractors)
oVery clearly defined roles and ranks
oSigns of a Formal Hierarchy:
www.notesolution.com
Job titles
Reporting structures
Organizational charts
oSources of value in higher-ranked positions:
Control over resources (power) & deference from subordinates (status)
oTypically an assumption of legitimacy to the hierarchy exists (though not always with
informal hierarchy)
Informal Hierarchies: Rank-ordering of individuals or groups that develops organically on at least
one valued social dimension
oNo clearly-delineated social roles (such as high school everyone was a student where
some kids were more popular than others. The hierarchy almost forms naturally)
oSources of value in higher-ranked positions:
Influence over group decisions (Power)
Greater attention from others (Status) (attention is like a social currency, where
those that have more attention are higher in status)
Attention, Power & Status
Attention plays a key role in social hierarchies
We give more attention to higher ranked individuals
We pay less attention to lower-ranked individuals
Attention applies both to higher power and higher status individuals
Attention and Power Among Humans
Erber & Fiske (1984)
Method: One participate and one confederate interacted in dyads; Participants potential to receive
a prize was either dependent on the confederate or not dependent; Shown a series of information
tidbits about the confederate while looking time was measured in seconds
Results: Reading time of information about confederate greatly increased when they thought the
confederate had power to determine prize outcome
Attention and Status Among Non-Human Primates
Deaner, Khera & Platt (2005)
Method: Male rhesus macaques viewed images of 4 higher-status and 4 lower-status macaques
from their social group; Trained to look one way to receive fruit juice or the other way to view the
picture; For which pictures would they sacrifice juice?
Results: Low status pictures resulted in much less time spent looking at the picture and going for
the juice; vice versa with high status pictures (spent more time looking at the picture forfeiting the
juice)
Development of Hierarchy
Hierarchical Differentiation: The process through which individuals or group are sorted into rank-
ordered positions
In formal hierarchies:
oAssumption that rank implies possession of a greater combination of skills, abilities and
motivation (manager more competent than employees)
oYet, sorting of individuals is a dynamic problem
www.notesolution.com
Individuals can enter and leave hierarchy
Individuals can move laterally or progress through the ranks (be hired as a
manager or just move up the ranks; or if they are hired as a manager they might
be transferred to another store and still be a manager (laterally))
In informal hierarchies
oDevelops spontaneously and rapidly
oRapid speed of impression formation since we form impressions so quickly of people
(first impressions)
oHierarchical differentiation based on behavior within first few minutes of social
interactions between group members
oHigh agreement between group members about the rank of each individual (even without
set roles; think high-school groups in terms of popularity)
Role of Non-verbal cues in Status Differentiation
Nemeth & Wachtler (1974)
oMethod: 4 participants + 1 confederate in small groups; Read a personal injury case
where person is seeking maximum $25,000 in damages (extensive, permanent);
Participants are brought to a deliberation room with 5 sears around a table (4 side seats
and one head seat) and asked to choose their seat; Confederate either chooses the Head
Seat or Side Seat; Confederate argues for a very low settlement ($3,000)
oResults: When Confederate sits as head seat the settlement amount is MUCH lower than
if they sat at the side seat ($10,500 vs $16,000) shows the importance of status
When he sat at the head seat the participants described the Confederate as more
confident, a leader and consistent (even though there was no difference other than
seat)
Differentiation in Informal Hierarchy
Basis for informal differentiation varies widely
Depends on which dimension is judged as more important to the group (characteristic or resource)
variable (can be music, kindness, money, humour, etc.)
Once this dimension is identified, hierarchy forms naturally and spontaneously
When people are really informal its unclear what the differential will be at first
Differentiation Based on Personality
Individuals achieve higher rank in a group to the extent they represent the defining
(prototypical/stereotypical) features of that group (how well you fit into the culture of your
community for example)
oOur society actually likes people who fit their stereotype (whether positive or negative)
Task-orientated organizations:
oConscientiousness predicts rank better than extraversion
Socially-orientated organizations:
oExtraversion predicts rank
The personality trait to rank ratio depends on the group values
Differentiation Based on Group Needs
Groups requiring little co-ordination among members:
oPeople with assertive speaking styles receive higher status
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Lecture 18 Social Power and Hierarchy Social Hierarchy An implicit or explicit rank order of individuals or groups with respect to a valued social dimension (there are subtypes mentioned later) o An implicit or explicit rank order of individuals or groups with respect to a valued social dimension o We may be very clear about social status OR we might not know definitively (we might know it at an associative implicit level you dont need to say it, you can sense it) o Rank order: there has to be at least two levels (one level of status or power that is slightly above the other) o Valued social dimension: Criteria used to rank people within social hierarchies. People are ranked according to what matters to the group doing the ranking Social Power An asymmetric control over valued resources in social relations Based in resources, which belongs to an actorsocial object (resources can be money, food, safety, water, supplies, powerallocation of resources) Low managers vs. high mangers and their control of resources Power Hierarchy One type of social hierarchy Rank-ordering of individuals with respect to the amount of resources each controls More common in formal hierarchies but can work at a national level Social power Social Status The extent to which an individual or group is respected or admired by others Exists entirely in the eyes of others and is conferred by them Deals with liking and respect, NOT resources You cant necessarily control how others view you Status Hierarchy A rank-ordering of individuals or groups according to the amount of respect accorded by others Changes only as the amount of respect for a target individuals or group changes o Example: if no one likes you anymore your status quickly changesrespect Another type of social hierarchy Types of Social Hierarchies Formal hierarchies: An explicitly-set social roles that vary by rank order, with higher-ranking roles holding greater value o People move between roles, but the hierarchy exists apart from the individuals who fill a given role at a given time (such as a large company: CEO, VP, Region Managers, Store Managers, Assistants, Employees, Contractors) o Very clearly defined roles and ranks o Signs of a Formal Hierarchy: www.notesolution.com
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