Picking Up the Gauntlet: How Individuals Respond to Status Challenges

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Forthcoming

53 Pages Posted: 16 May 2007

See all articles by Christine Porath

Christine Porath

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business; Georgetown University - Department of Management

Jennifer Overbeck

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Christine M Pearson

Thunderbird, School of Global Management

Abstract

How do people respond to status challenges? We suggest that responses depend on the relative status and genders of challenger and target; in particular, these variables affect appraisals about the status challenge (operationally defined as an act of incivility) and likely outcomes of various responses, and those appraisals proximately determine responses. Studies 1 and 2 show that male gender and high status are associated with more aggressive responses, whereas female gender and low status are associated with more avoidant responses. Study 3 shows that men and women's responses aren't perfectly antithetical: men show the greatest resistance toward peers, which may reflect greater sensitivity to status contests among men. Perceived legitimacy of the challenger's actions and consequences affect the status-gender-response relationships.

Keywords: Incivility, Status, Gender, Power, Aggression, Norm violations

Suggested Citation

Porath, Christine and Overbeck, Jennifer and Pearson, Christine M, Picking Up the Gauntlet: How Individuals Respond to Status Challenges. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=986403

Christine Porath (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Georgetown University - Department of Management

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, NY 20057
United States

Jennifer Overbeck

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Christine M Pearson

Thunderbird, School of Global Management ( email )

15249 N 59th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85306
United States

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