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Exploring the changing effects of individual differences on social status of influence

Wonho Jeung, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Social status and hierarchies of social status are ubiquitous. Because of this, they have been addressed in a great number of philosophical, theoretical, and empirical discussions across a variety of fields of studies. A primary focus of attention has been on the role of human agency, most notably trait theory (i.e., personality theory). Despite a number of studies in this topic, there have been two notable limitations in extant studies. First, previous studies have largely been based on a singular perspective in explaining social status, most representatively ability (e.g., intelligence) and personality traits (e.g., Big-Five personality traits). Second, extant studies have implicitly assumed that the relationships are static, and the predominant use of cross-sectional research designs hinders explanation of dynamic relationships between personality and social status. In order to address these limitations, this study explores the role of multiple domains of individual differences in explaining social status in the longitudinal setting. The findings support the fundamental premise of this study that the relationships between individual differences and social status are more dynamic and complex than previous studies implicitly assumed. Intelligence, extraversion, and non-calculative motivation to lead have incremental effects above and beyond other variables but do not have changing effects across different stages of group development. Emotional intelligence has incremental effects as well as changing effects over time. Conscientiousness and affective/identity motivation to lead do not have incremental effects over an array of other individuals differences, but do have positive changing effects over time. Neuroticism does not have incremental effects but has negative changing effects over time. Finally, openness to experience does not have incremental effects, nor does it have changing effects over time. The findings of this study contribute to research dedicated to advancing understanding of the role of individual differences on social status.

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Recommended Citation

Jeung, Wonho, "Exploring the changing effects of individual differences on social status of influence" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3604626.