Toward a Unified Science of Hierarchy: Dominance and Prestige are Two Fundamental Pathways to Human Social Rank

  title={Toward a Unified Science of Hierarchy: Dominance and Prestige are Two Fundamental Pathways to Human Social Rank},
  author={Joey T. Cheng and Jessica L. Tracy},
The pursuit of social status is a recurrent and pervasive challenge faced by individuals in all human societies. Yet, the precise means through which individuals compete for and effectively acquire social standing remains unclear. Despite a large literature examining the factors that lead to rank differentiation, this body of work currently lacks a unifying framework. The current chapter addresses this gap by proposing the adoption of the Dominance-Prestige Account, an evolutionary framework… 
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Informal social hierarchies within small human groups are argued to be based on prestige, dominance, or a combination of the two (Henrich & Gil-White, 2001). Prestige-based hierarchies entail the
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A large body of research has emerged to suggest that the self-conscious emotion of pride is a universal and evolved part of human nature, which functions to help individuals navigate their social
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Status, which is based on differences in esteem and honor, is an ancient and universal form of inequality which nevertheless interpenetrates modern institutions and organizations. Given its ubiquity
The Dominance, Prestige, and Leadership Account of Social Power Motives
The power motive predicts influential social behaviour; however, its heterogeneous conceptualisations have produced inconsistent results. To overcome this problem, we developed and validated a
Taking interaction seriously: Asymmetrical roles and the behavioral foundations of status
  • Reinhard Wolf
  • Psychology
    European Journal of International Relations
  • 2019
Status has once again become a prominent topic in international relations. However, vague, incomplete, and incompatible definitions continue to stifle the development of a cohesive research program.
When the appeal of a dominant leader trumps a prestige leader
Across the globe, we witness the rise of populist authoritarian leaders – overbearing in their narrative, aggressive in behavior and often exhibiting questionable moral character. Drawing on
When the appeal of a dominant leader is greater than a prestige leader
Robust support is found for the hypothesis that under a situational threat of economic uncertainty people escalate their support for dominant leaders, and it is found that this phenomenon is mediated by participants’ psychological sense of a lack of personal control.


Two ways to the top: evidence that dominance and prestige are distinct yet viable avenues to social rank and influence.
It is demonstrated that Dominance and Prestige are distinct yet viable strategies for ascending the social hierarchy, consistent with evolutionary theory.
The Impact of Wealth on Prestige and Dominance Rank Relationships
As Kraus, Tan, and Tannenbaum compellingly argued in their thoughtful target article, there is little doubt that social class has a pervasive influence on human cognition. Here, we build on their
The evolution of prestige: freely conferred deference as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission.
  • J. Henrich, F. Gil-White
  • Psychology
    Evolution and human behavior : official journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society
  • 2001
Prestige and Culture: A Biosocial Interpretation [and Comments and Replies]
Examination of human prestige-striving in phylogenetic perspective suggests it to be essentially homologous with primate social dominance. In our own species, however, selection for "cultural
8 Social Hierarchy: The Self‐Reinforcing Nature of Power and Status
Abstract Hierarchy is such a defining and pervasive feature of organizations that its forms and basic functions are often taken for granted in organizational research. In this review, we revisit some
The Ontogenesis of Social Dominance: A Strategy-Based Evolutionary Perspective
Abstract Social dominance results when members of a social group vary in their ability to acquire resources in the presence of others (i.e., compete). Traditional approaches to social dominance often
The concept of social dominance.
The multiple dimensions of male social status in an Amazonian society.
The origins of deference: when do people prefer lower status?
While individuals might universally desire high levels of respect, it is found that they vary widely in the extent to which they strive for high-status rank, with many individuals opting for middle- or low- status rank.