Winner, losers, insiders, and outsiders: Comparing hierometer and sociometer theories of self-regard


Mahadevan, Nikhila, Gregg, Aiden, Sedikides, Constantine and De Waal-Andrews, Wendy (2016) Winner, losers, insiders, and outsiders: Comparing hierometer and sociometer theories of self-regard Frontiers in Psychology, 7, pp. 1-19. (doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00334).

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Description/Abstract

What evolutionary function does self-regard serve? Hierometer theory, introduced here, provides one answer: it helps individuals navigate status hierarchies, which feature zero-sum contests that can be lost as well as won. In particular, self-regard tracks social status to regulate behavioral assertiveness, augmenting or diminishing it to optimize performance in such contests. Hierometer theory also offers a conceptual counterpoint that helps resolve ambiguities in sociometer theory, which offers a complementary account of self-regard’s evolutionary function. In two large-scale cross-sectional studies, we operationalized theoretically relevant variables at three distinct levels of analysis, namely, social (relations: status, inclusion), psychological (self-regard: self-esteem, narcissism), and behavioral (strategy: assertiveness, affiliativeness). Correlational and mediational analyses consistently supported hierometer theory, but offered only mixed support for sociometer theory, including when controlling for confounding constructs (anxiety, depression). We interpret our results in terms of a broader agency-communion framework.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00334
ISSNs: 1664-1078 (print)
ePrint ID: 391566
Date :
Date Event
23 February 2016Accepted/In Press
30 March 2016Published
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 09:13
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 03:41
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391566

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