Competing theories of status allocation posit divergent conceptual foundations upon which human status hierarchies are built. We argue that the three prominent theories of status allocation—competence-based models, conflict-based models, and dual-pathway models—can be distinguished by the importance that they place on four key affordance dimensions: benefit-generation ability, benefit-generation willingness, cost-infliction ability, and cost-infliction willingness. In the current study, we test competing theoretical predictions about the relative centrality of each affordance dimension to clarify the foundations of human status allocation. We examined the extent to which American raters’ ( n = 515) perceptions of the benefit-generation and cost-infliction affordances of 240 personal characteristics predict the status impacts of those same personal characteristics as determined by separate groups of raters ( n = 2,751) across 14 nations. Benefit-generation and cost-infliction affordances were both positively associated with status allocation at the zero-order level. However, the unique effects of benefit-generation affordances explained most of the variance in status allocation when competing with cost-infliction affordances, whereas cost-infliction affordances were weak or null predictors. This finding suggests that inflicting costs without generating benefits does not reliably increase status in the minds of others among established human groups around the world. Overall, the findings bolster competence-based theories of status allocation but offer little support for conflict-based and dual-pathway models.
We argue that because of a long history of intergroup conflict and competition, humans evolved to be tribal creatures. Tribalism is not inherently bad, but it can lead to ideological thinking and sacred values that distort cognitive processing of putatively objective information in ways that affirm and strengthen the views and well-being of one’s ingroup (and that increase one’s own standing within one’s ingroup). Because of this shared evolutionary history of intergroup conflict, liberals and conservatives likely share the same underlying tribal psychology, which creates the potential for ideologically distorted information processing. Over the past several decades, social scientists have sedulously documented various tribal and ideological psychological tendencies on the political right, and more recent work has documented similar tendencies on the political left. We contend that these tribal tendencies and propensities can lead to ideologically distorted information processing in any group. And this ideological epistemology can become especially problematic for the pursuit of the truth when groups are ideologically homogenous and hold sacred values that might be contradicted by empirical inquiry. Evidence suggests that these conditions might hold for modern social science; therefore, we conclude by exploring potential ideologically driven distortions in the social sciences.
Humans evolved in the context of intense intergroup competition, and groups comprised of loyal members more often succeeded than those that were not. Therefore, selective pressures have consistently sculpted human minds to be "tribal," and group loyalty and concomitant cognitive biases likely exist in all groups. Modern politics is one of the most salient forms of modern coalitional conflict and elicits substantial cognitive biases. Given the common evolutionary history of liberals and conservatives, there is little reason to expect pro-tribe biases to be higher on one side of the political spectrum than the other. We call this the evolutionarily plausible null hypothesis and recent research has supported it. In a recent meta-analysis, liberals and conservatives showed similar levels of partisan bias, and a number of pro-tribe cognitive tendencies often ascribed to conservatives (e.g., intolerance toward dissimilar others) have been found in similar degrees in liberals. We conclude that tribal bias is a natural and nearly ineradicable feature of human cognition, and that no group—not even one’s own—is immune.
Predicated on the notion that people’s survival depends greatly on participation in cooperative society, and that reputation damage may preclude such participation, four studies with diverse methods tested the hypothesis that people would make substantial sacrifices to protect their reputations. A “big data” study found that maintaining a moral reputation is one of people’s most important values. In making hypothetical choices, high percentages of “normal” people reported preferring jail time, amputation of limbs, and death to various forms of reputation damage (i.e., becoming known as a criminal, Nazi, or child molester). Two lab studies found that 30% of people fully submerged their hands in a pile of disgusting live worms, and 63% endured physical pain to prevent dissemination of information suggesting that they were racist. We discuss the implications of reputation protection for theories about altruism and motivation.
Most approaches to dishonest behavior emphasize the importance of corresponding payoffs, thus implying that dishonesty might increase with increasing incentives. However, prior evidence does not confirm this intuition. Strikingly, extant findings are based on relatively small payoffs, the potential effects of which are solely analyzed across participants. In two experiments, we used different multi-trial die-rolling paradigms designed to investigate dishonesty at the individual level (i.e., within participants) and as a function of the payoffs at stake – implementing substantial incentives exceeding 100€. Results show that incentive sizes indeed matter for ethical decision making, though primarily for two subsets of “corruptible individuals” (who cheat more the more they are offered) and “small sinners” (who tend to cheat less as the potential payoffs increase). Others (“brazen liars”) are willing to cheat for practically any non-zero incentive whereas still others (“honest individuals”) do not cheat at all, even for large payoffs. By implication, the influence of payoff magnitude on ethical decision making is often obscured when analyzed across participants and with insufficiently tempting payoffs.
This paper focuses on "cheating" in modern day athletics from youth through professional sports. We briefly summarize a history of cheating in the sports world. We examine the current role cheating plays in sports as well as its causes including, psychodynamic issues, the development of personality disorders and how personality traits become pathological resulting in deception, dishonesty, and underhandedness. We describe management and treatment including psychotherapeutic intervention as well as medication. Finally we discuss a systems approach involving outreach to coaches, families, and related sports organizations (like FIFA, WADA, etc) or the professional leagues which have institutional control and partial influence on the athlete.
Why do people cooperate? We address this classic question by analyzing and discussing the role of reputation: people cooperate to maintain a positive reputation in their social environment. Reputation is a key element fueling a system of indirect reciprocity, where cooperators establish a good reputation and are thus more likely to receive future benefits from third parties. The tendencies to monitor, spread, and manage each other's reputation help explain the abundance of human cooperation with unrelated strangers. We review research on the phenomenon of reputation-based cooperation in the domains of how people manage their reputation in response to varying cues of reputation, when reputation can promote cooperation, and individual differences in reputation management. We also propose three directions for future research: group stability and reputation-based cooperation, solutions to cope with noise and biased reputation, and the relative efficiency of positive versus negative reputation systems.
Although it is often assumed that team member's tendency to social loaf is detrimental to team performance, I propose that this relationship is not always negative. Drawing from theories on social loafing, social compensation, and trait activation, I propose that both the level of conscientiousness and agreeableness in teams could compensate for social loafing tendencies, in terms of team performance. In a study among newly formed student teams (N = 209 teams; n = 644 persons) working on a complex task that exceeded their current skill level, I found support for this idea. Consistent with predictions, social loafing tendencies were positively related to team performance when the level of conscientiousness was high rather than low. A significant 3-way interaction between social loafing tendencies, conscientiousness, and agreeableness in predicting team performance indicated that especially if there is a high degree of conscientiousness and agreeableness within the team, team members will compensate for social loafing tendencies, and performance will stay up to par. If there is little tendency to social loaf, the level of conscientiousness becomes less important, while agreeableness stays important for team performance. Given the extensive use of team projects in business schools, the implications of these findings are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Environmental damage is often an unseen byproduct of other activities. Disclosing environmental impact privately to consumers can reduce the costs and/or increase the moral benefits of conservation behaviors, while publicly disclosing such information can provide an additional motivation for conservation - cultivating a green reputation. In a unique field experiment in the residence halls at the University of California – Los Angeles, we test the efficacy of detailed private and public information on electricity conservation. Private information was given through real-time appliance level feedback and social norms over usage, and public information was given through a publicly visible conservation rating. Our analysis is based on 7,120 daily observations about energy use from heating and cooling, lights and plug load for 66 rooms collected over an academic year. Our results suggest that while private information alone was ineffective, public information combined with private information motivated a 20 percent reduction in electricity consumption achieved through lower use of heating and cooling. Public information was particularly effective for above median energy users.
Status differences are ubiquitous and highly consequential. Yet with regard to human social groups, basic questions persist about how status differences develop. In particular, little is known about the processes by which individuals pursue status in social groups. That is, how do individuals compete and jockey for status with their peers? The current paper reviews recent research that helps fill this gap in our knowledge. Specifically, studies of a variety of face-to-face groups show that individuals pursue status by enhancing the apparent value they provide to their group. Individuals compete for status not by bullying and intimidating others, as some theorists have proposed, but by behaving in ways that suggest high levels of competence, generosity, and commitment to the group.
The authors developed a multilevel interactive model for predicting social loafing behavior in groups and tested this model in a study of 367 individuals working in 102 groups during a 4-month period. Study results revealed the importance of integrating both person (preference for group work and winning orientation) and situation (task interdependence) factors in predicting social loafing. Preference for group work was consistently and negatively related to social loafing behavior (self-reported and peer rated), and this relationship was moderated by both winning orientation and task interdependence. As predicted, group members were more likely to self-report social loafing when their preference for group work and winning orientation were both low. Peer-rated social loafing was most likely when preference for group work, winning orientation, and task interdependence were all low, as predicted. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are addressed, and several directions for future research are outlined.
Virtually all theories of the evolution of cooperation require that cooperators find ways to interact with one another selectively, to the exclusion of cheaters. This means that individuals must make reputational judgments about others as cooperators, based on either direct or indirect evidence. Humans, and possibly other species, add another component to the process: they know that they are being judged by others, and so they adjust their behavior in order to affect those judgments - so-called impression management. Here, we show for the first time that already preschool children engage in such behavior. In an experimental study, 5-year-old human children share more and steal less when they are being watched by a peer than when they are alone. In contrast, chimpanzees behave the same whether they are being watched by a groupmate or not. This species difference suggests that humans' concern for their own self-reputation, and their tendency to manage the impression they are making on others, may be unique to humans among primates.
A reconceptualization of stigma is presented that changes the emphasis from the devaluation of an individual's identity to the process by which individuals who satisfy certain criteria come to be excluded from various kinds of social interactions. The authors propose that phenomena currently placed under the general rubric of stigma involve a set of distinct psychological systems designed by natural selection to solve specific problems associated with sociality. In particular, the authors suggest that human beings possess cognitive adaptations designed to cause them to avoid poor social exchange partners, join cooperative groups (for purposes of between-group competition and exploitation), and avoid contact with those who are differentially likely to carry communicable pathogens. The evolutionary view contributes to the current conceptualization of stigma by providing an account of the ultimate function of stigmatization and helping to explain its consensual nature.
In this paper, we experimentally test whether competing for a desired reward does not only affect individuals’ performance, but also their tendency to cheat. Recent doping scandals in sports as well as forgery and plagiarism scandals in academia have been partially explained by “competitive pressures”, which suggests a link between competition and cheating.In our experiment subjects conduct a task where they have the possibility to make use of illegitimate tools to better their results. We find that women react much stronger to competitive pressure by increasing their cheating activity while there is no overall sex difference in cheating. However, the effect of competition on women’s cheating behavior is entirely due to the fact that women, on average, are doing worse with respect to the assigned task. Indeed we find that it is the ability of an individual to conduct a particular task and not sex that crucially affects the reaction to competition. Poor performers significantly increase their cheating behavior under competition which may be a face-saving strategy or an attempt to retain a chance of winning.
Are humans too generous? The discovery that subjects choose to incur costs to allocate benefits to others in anonymous, one-shot economic games has posed an unsolved challenge to models of economic and evolutionary rationality. Using agent-based simulations, we show that such generosity is the necessary byproduct of selection on decision systems for regulating dyadic reciprocity under conditions of uncertainty. In deciding whether to engage in dyadic reciprocity, these systems must balance (i) the costs of mistaking a one-shot interaction for a repeated interaction (hence, risking a single chance of being exploited) with (ii) the far greater costs of mistaking a repeated interaction for a one-shot interaction (thereby precluding benefits from multiple future cooperative interactions). This asymmetry builds organisms naturally selected to cooperate even when exposed to cues that they are in one-shot interactions.
The reciprocal interactions with others that play such a significant part in our lives depend upon trust; individuals need to be confident that their partners are cooperative, and that they will return favours. Reputation permits the choice of better partners and provides incentives to be more cooperative. These uses of reputation are not unique to humans. However, in complex human societies, with large numbers of potential partners, keeping track of each other's reputation is a vital part of everyday life, and, in an inevitable arms race, ever more powerful strategies of reputation management are being developed. In this article, we bring together insights from different disciplines to throw new light onto the importance and scope of reputation management.
G*Power is a free power analysis program for a variety of statistical tests. We present extensions and improvements of the version introduced by Faul, Erdfelder, Lang, and Buchner (2007) in the domain of correlation and regression analyses. In the new version, we have added procedures to analyze the power of tests based on (1) single-sample tetrachoric correlations, (2) comparisons of dependent correlations, (3) bivariate linear regression, (4) multiple linear regression based on the random predictor model, (5) logistic regression, and (6) Poisson regression. We describe these new features and provide a brief introduction to their scope and handling.
Individuals high in the personality trait dominance consistently attain high levels of influence in groups. Why they do is unclear, however, because most group theories assert that people cannot attain influence simply by behaving assertively and forcefully; rather, they need to possess superior task abilities and leadership skills. In the present research, the authors proposed that individuals high in trait dominance attain influence because they behave in ways that make them appear competent--even when they actually lack competence. Two studies examined task groups using a social relations analysis of peer perceptions (D. A. Kenny & L. LaVoie, 1984). The authors found that individuals higher in trait dominance were rated as more competent by fellow group members, outside peer observers, and research staff members, even after controlling for individuals' actual abilities. Furthermore, frequency counts of discrete behaviors showed that dominance predicts the enactment of competence-signaling behaviors, which in turn predicts peer ratings of competence. These findings extend researchers' understanding of trait dominance, hierarchies in groups, and perceptions of competence and abilities.
Darwinian evolution has to provide an explanation for cooperative behaviour. Theories of cooperation are based on kin selection (dependent on genetic relatedness), group selection and reciprocal altruism. The idea of reciprocal altruism usually involves direct reciprocity: repeated encounters between the same individuals allow for the return of an altruistic act by the recipient. Here we present a new theoretical framework, which is based on indirect reciprocity and does not require the same two individuals ever to meet again. Individual selection can nevertheless favour cooperative strategies directed towards recipients that have helped others in the past. Cooperation pays because it confers the image of a valuable community member to the cooperating individual. We present computer simulations and analytic models that specify the conditions required for evolutionary stability of indirect reciprocity. We show that the probability of knowing the 'image' of the recipient must exceed the cost-to-benefit ratio of the altruistic act. We propose that the emergence of indirect reciprocity was a decisive step for the evolution of human societies.
This paper advances an "information goods" theory that explains prestige processes as an emergent product of psychological adaptations that evolved to improve the quality of information acquired via cultural transmission. Natural selection favored social learners who could evaluate potential models and copy the most successful among them. In order to improve the fidelity and comprehensiveness of such ranked-biased copying, social learners further evolved dispositions to sycophantically ingratiate themselves with their chosen models, so as to gain close proximity to, and prolonged interaction with, these models. Once common, these dispositions created, at the group level, distributions of deference that new entrants may adaptively exploit to decide who to begin copying. This generated a preference for models who seem generally "popular." Building on social exchange theories, we argue that a wider range of phenomena associated with prestige processes can more plausibly be explained by this simple theory than by others, and we test its predictions with data from throughout the social sciences. In addition, we distinguish carefully between dominance (force or force threat) and prestige (freely conferred deference).
The existence of social norms is one of the big unsolved problems in social cognitive science. Although no other concept is invoked more frequently in the social sciences, we still know little about how social norms are formed, the forces determining their content, and the cognitive and emotional requirements that enable a species to establish and enforce social norms. In recent years, there has been substantial progress, however, on how cooperation norms are enforced. Here we review evidence showing that sanctions are decisive for norm enforcement, and that they are largely driven by non-selfish motives. Moreover, the explicit study of sanctioning behavior provides instruments for measuring social norms and has also led to deeper insights into the proximate and ultimate forces behind human cooperation.
We study how cheating behavior is affected by incentives. After replicating the finding in the cheating game literature that lying does not increase with incentives, we show that this insensitivity is not a characteristic of the intrinsic lying cost, but rather a result of concern about being exposed as a liar. In a modified “mind” game in which this concern is eliminated, we find that people lie more, and in particular lie more when the incentives to do so increase. Thus, our results show that for many participants, the decision to lie follows a simple cost-benefit analysis: they compare the intrinsic cost of lying with the incentives to lie; once the incentives are higher than the cost, they switch from telling the truth to lying.
We outline the need to, and provide a guide on how to, conduct a meta-analysis on one's own studies within a manuscript. Although conducting a “mini meta” within one's manuscript has been argued for in the past, this practice is still relatively rare and adoption is slow. We believe two deterrents are responsible. First, researchers may not think that it is legitimate to do a meta-analysis on a small number of studies. Second, researchers may think a meta-analysis is too complicated to do without expert knowledge or guidance. We dispel these two misconceptions by (1) offering arguments on why researchers should be encouraged to do mini metas, (2) citing previous articles that have conducted such analyses to good effect, and (3) providing a user-friendly guide on calculating some meta-analytic procedures that are appropriate when there are only a few studies. We provide formulas for calculating effect sizes and converting effect sizes from one metric to another (e.g., from Cohen's d to r), as well as annotated Excel spreadsheets and a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a simple meta-analysis. A series of related studies can be strengthened and better understood if accompanied by a mini meta-analysis.
This research examines how being faced with a potential negative versus positive status change influences peoples’ willingness to ethically transgress to avoid or achieve these respective outcomes. Across four studies people were consistently more likely to cheat to prevent a negative status change than to realize a positive change. We argue that what accounts for these results is the enhanced value placed on retaining one’s status in the face of a potential negative change. Taken together, these findings offer a dynamic perspective to the study of status and ethics and contribute to knowledge of the situational factors that promote unethical behavior.
We advance a framework for understanding why and how gossip may promote generosity and cooperation, especially in situations that can result in greater indirect benefits from others. Drawing on evolutionary theory, we derive novel hypotheses about how two reliably recurring properties of human social networks – they are “small” and contain fewer well-connected people – provide insight about when people may maximize indirect benefits of generosity. Across three studies, we find support for the hypothesis that people increase their generosity when the recipient (or an observer) is connected and can gossip to at least one or many others whom they might interact with in the future. Moreover, reputational concern, rather than expected indirect benefits from one’s future partners, primarily mediated this observed gossip-based generosity, and the mediation effect of reputational concern was statistically more pronounced for proselfs than for prosocials. We discuss the importance of these findings in the context of evolutionary perspectives on human cooperation, along with some novel insights about how properties of social networks influence social behavior.
From an evolutionary point of view, the function of moral behaviour may be to secure a good reputation as a co‐operator. The best way to do so may be to obey genuine moral motivations. Still, one's moral reputation maybe something too important to be entrusted just to one's moral sense. A robust concern for one's reputation is likely to have evolved too. Here we explore some of the complex relationships between morality and reputation both from an evolutionary and a cognitive point of view.
We investigate the influence of two popular compensation schemes on subjects’ inclination to lie by adapting an experimental setup of Fischbacher and Heusi (2008). Lying turns out to be more pronounced under team incentives than under individual piece-rates, which highlights a fairly neglected feature of compensation schemes. Moreover, when disentangling different motives of the more pronounced unethical conduct under team incentives, we find that subjects tend to lie more under team incentives because they can diffuse their responsibility, i.e., their deceptive acts cannot unambiguously be attributed to them individually. Our findings are robust even when controlling for individual difference variables. In both compensation schemes subjects who are younger, male, high on Extraversion, and high on Neuroticism tend to lie more.
A review was conducted of the results of 107studies of the prevalence and correlates of cheatingamong college students published between 1970 and 1996.The studies found cheating to be more common in the 1969-75 and 1986-96 time periods thanbetween 1976 and 1985. Among the strongest correlates ofcheating were having moderate expectations of success,having cheated in the past, studying under poor conditions, holding positive attitudes towardcheating, perceiving that social norms support cheating,and anticipating a large reward for success. However, animportant limitation on the conclusions drawn from this research is that many variables wereincluded in only one or a few studies. A model of theantecedents of cheating is proposed and the implicationsof this model for the identification of students at risk for cheating and controlling cheatingare discussed.
Why do people persistently contribute to public goods and does it matter to them if their donation makes a difference? A costly signalling perspective suggests that donors might be more concerned about their reputation than the utility of their helping act. We report data on two step-level public goods experiments. We find that in public (vs. private) conditions, contributions go up even when the public good is already provided (Experiment 1) or is unattainable (Experiment 2). Furthermore, these conspicuous donations appear to enhance the status and prestige of the donor because they signal some hidden quality. This research suggests that a public good contribution can be a self-presentation strategy and that the benefits of these contributions to society are sometimes of secondary importance.
Social interactions are frequently associated with social approval. Anticipation of social sanctions may have important economic consequences, in particular in the realm of collective action and voluntary cooperation. This paper investigates the impact and the limitations of social rewards on people’s behavior in the provision of a public good. We examine whether the opportunity to receive social approval in exchange for participation in collective actions is capable of overcome free-riding. We find that approval incentives alone are not sufficiently strong to cause a reduction in free-riding. However, in combination with some minimal social familiarity approval incentives generate a significant rise in cooperation. Our results also suggest that approval incentives give rise to multiple equilibria.
Social loafing is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually. A meta-analysis of 78 studies demonstrates that social loafing is robust and generalizes across tasks and S populations. A large number of variables were found to moderate social loafing. Evaluation potential, expectations of co-worker performance, task meaningfulness, and culture had espeically strong influence. These findings are interpreted in the light of a Collective Effort Model that integrates elements of expectancy-value, social identity, and self-validation theories.
We study indirect reciprocity and strategic reputation building in an experimental helping game. At any time only half of the subjects can build a reputation. This allows us to study both pure indirect reciprocity that is not contaminated by strategic reputation building and the impact of incentives for strategic reputation building on the helping rate. We find that pure indirect reciprocity exists, but also that the helping decisions are substantially affected by strategic considerations. Finally, we find that strategic do better than non-strategic players and non-reciprocal do better than reciprocal players, casting doubt on previously proposed evolutionary explanations for indirect reciprocity.
The problem of sustaining a public resource that everybody is free to overuse-the 'tragedy of the commons'-emerges in many social dilemmas, such as our inability to sustain the global climate. Public goods experiments, which are used to study this type of problem, usually confirm that the collective benefit will not be produced. Because individuals and countries often participate in several social games simultaneously, the interaction of these games may provide a sophisticated way by which to maintain the public resource. Indirect reciprocity, 'give and you shall receive', is built on reputation and can sustain a high level of cooperation, as shown by game theorists. Here we show, through alternating rounds of public goods and indirect reciprocity games, that the need to maintain reputation for indirect reciprocity maintains contributions to the public good at an unexpectedly high level. But if rounds of indirect reciprocation are not expected, then contributions to the public good drop quickly to zero. Alternating the games leads to higher profits for all players. As reputation may be a currency that is valid in many social games, our approach could be used to test social dilemmas for their solubility.
Three experimental studies examined the relationship between altruistic behavior and the emergence of status hierarchies within groups. In each study, group members were confronted with a social dilemma in which they could either benefit themselves or their group. Study 1 revealed that in a reputation environment when contributions were public, people were more altruistic. In both Studies 1 and 2, the most altruistic members gained the highest status in their group and were most frequently preferred as cooperative interaction partners. Study 3 showed that as the costs of altruism increase, the status rewards also increase. These results support the premise at the heart of competitive altruism: Individuals may behave altruistically for reputation reasons because selective benefits (associated with status) accrue to the generous.
The gay science: With a prelude in German rhymes and an appendix of songs
Nietzsche, F. (1974). The gay science: With a prelude in German rhymes and an appendix of
songs (W. Kaufmann, Trans.). New York, NY: Vintage. (Original work published 1887)