Picking Up the Gauntlet: How Individuals Respond to Status Challenges
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Forthcoming
53 Pages Posted: 16 May 2007
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
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By Neil Vidmar