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Is self-regard a sociometer or a hierometer? Self-esteem tracks status and inclusion, narcissism tracks status.

Mahadevan, Nikhila and Gregg, Aiden P and Sedikides, Constantine (2019) 'Is self-regard a sociometer or a hierometer? Self-esteem tracks status and inclusion, narcissism tracks status.' Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116 (3). 444 - 466. ISSN 0022-3514

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Abstract

What adaptive function does self-regard serve? Sociometer theory predicts that it positively tracks social inclusion. A new theory, hierometer theory, predicts that it positively tracks social status. We tested both predictions with respect to two types of self-regard: self-esteem and narcissism. Study 1 (N = 940), featuring a cross-sectional design, found that both status and inclusion covaried positively with self-esteem, but that status alone covaried positively with narcissism. These links held independently of gender, age, and the Big Five personality traits. Study 2 (N = 627), a preregistered cross-sectional study, obtained similar results with alternative measures of self-esteem and narcissism. Studies 3–4 featured experimental designs in which status and inclusion were orthogonally manipulated. Study 3 (N = 104) found that both higher status and higher inclusion promoted higher self-esteem, whereas only higher status promoted higher narcissism. Study 4 (N = 259) obtained similar results with alternative measures of self-esteem and narcissism. The findings suggest that self-esteem operates as both sociometer and hierometer, positively tracking both status and inclusion, whereas narcissism operates primarily as a hierometer, positively tracking status.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 07:45
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 08:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27608

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