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Social Power & Hierarchy - Review Sheet.docx

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

Social Power & Hierarchy  Magee & Galinsky, 2008  Social Hierarchy = An implicit or explicit rank order of individuals or groups with respect to a valued social dimension. o Formal Hierarchy = Explicitly-set social roles that vary by rank order, with higher-ranking roles holding greater value. People move between roles, but the hierarchy exists apart from the individuals who fill a given role at a given time.  Signs of a Formal Hierarchy: Job Titles, Reporting structures, and organizational charts.  Sources of value in higher-ranked positions:  Control over resources (Power)  Deference from subordinates (Status)  Typically an assumption of legitimacy to the hierarchy exists. o Informal Hierarchy = Rank-ordering of individuals or groups that develops organically on at least one valued social dimension. There are no clearly- delineated social roles.  Sources of value in higher-ranked positions:  Influence over group decisions (Power)  Greater attention from others (Status)  Social Power = An asymmetric control over values resources in social relations o Based in resources, which belong to an actor/social object  Social Status = The extent to which an individual or group is respected or admired by others. Exists entirely in the eyes of other and it conferred by them.  Attention, Power, and Status o Attention plays a key role in social hierarchies. o We give more attention to higher ranked individuals. o We pay less attention to lower-ranked individuals. o Attention applies both to higher power and higher status individuals.  Development of Hierarchy… o Hierarchical Differentiation = The process through which individuals or group are sorted in to rank-ordered positions o … In Formal Hierarchies  Assumption that rank implies possession of a greater combination of skills, abilities, and motivation  Yet, sorting of individuals is a dynamic problem  Individuals can enter and leave hierarchy.  Individuals can move laterally or progress through the ranks. … In Informal Hierarchies  Informal hierarchical differentiation develops spontaneously and rapidly.  Rapid speed of impression formation  Hierarchical differentiation based on behavior within first few minutes or social interactions between group members.  High agreement between group members about the rank of each individual.  Basis for informal differentiation varies widely.  Depends on which dimension is judged as more important to the group.  Characteristics or resource  Once this dimension is identified, hierarchy forms naturally and spontaneously. o … Based on Personality  Individuals achieve higher rank in a group to the extent they represent the defining (prototypical) features of that group  Task-oriented organization:  Conscientiousness predicts rank better thank extraversion.  Socially-Oriented Organizations:  Extraversion predicts rank. o … Based on Group Needs  Groups requiring little co-ordination among members:  People with assertive speaking styles receive higher status.  Groups requiring high co-ordination among members:  People with tentative speaking styles receive higher status.  Functions of Hierarchy = establishes social order and facilitated co-ordination & provides incentives for individuals within groups and organizations. o Social Order  Fulfills basic need for order, structure, and stability.  Powerful antidote to uncertainty and chaos. o Co-ordination  Provides clear lines of direction and deference.  Differentiated roles prescribe behavior for both superiors and subordinates.  When hierarchy is unclear:  Work becomes confusing, inefficient, and frustrating.  Co-ordination suffers.  Task groups of all “stars” (task-related ability is high, but differentiation is absent).  Co-ordination is disrupted.  Group becomes less effective and less efficient. o Incentives  Hierarchy provides motivation for individual group members.  Higher rank = material and psychological rewards.  Group typically benefits from this ambition.  Hierarchy Maintenance o Power and Psychological Processes  Power transforms how an individual construes and approaches the world  Reciprocal process o Power Approach Theory  Power affects relative activation of neurobiological system of Behavioral Approach (BAS) and Behavioral Inhibition (BIS)  High power = Approach of attractive aspects of situation.  Focus on rewards  Low power = Inhibition due to threat of losing favor with superiors. o Power and Approach:  High power individuals:  Optimistic  Confident  Experience more positive emotion  Experience less negative emotion o Power and Social Interactions  Social power predicts:  Speaking time; higher power = talk longer  Speaking out of turn; higher power = interrupts
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