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The article written by Gavin J. Kilduff and Adam D. Galinsky goes under the name “From the Ephemeral to the Enduring: How Approach-Oriented Mindsets Lead to Greater Status”. The main problem of the work is to investigate who gets ahead in life. The research suggests that approach-oriented states can be crucial in status attaining for both short and long terms.
The authors offered an idea that due to the fact that approach-oriented mindsets (promotion-oriented focus, feeling of power and happiness) are proactive in their nature, people possessing them will attain higher status in a group. The work is expected to contribute to the existing empirical knowledge by combining experimental manipulations with an independent status, group interaction and within long periods, which has never been done before (Kilduff and Galinsky).
An experiment is the prominent method and, therefore, a number of experiments were carried out and all of them included groups of individuals of the same sex and age (on average) which allowed the results to be adequate. The second method involved was a survey. The participants had to assess their efforts as well as the efforts of others. The disadvantage of such method is the lack of objectiveness. However, the results show that even prize money given to the most active individuals by means of anonymous rating did not evoke the greed factor. As for the experiment, the results could slightly be distorted because of the irregular attendance of the participants.
The study suggests that the hierarchy of groups can depend on such factors as promotion, orientation, happiness and power, which refer to every group member. Furthermore, high status achieved by a person continues to exist, even though the conditions change with time. The hierarchy reinforces itself because of its nature. The result differs from the previous ones, thus, giving way to further development of this theory.
The study discovered that high status is not dependent on competence, skills and character while it is predetermined by the psychological state of group members on the initial stage. Having conducted experiments, the connection between power and status was proved. Moreover, the so-called “butterfly effect” of status can be observed, meaning that the hierarchy develops in a way that high status can be preserved by a person, but its achievement is predisposed by other group members’ state. It also means that to have high status does not mean to be the smartest or the nicest; it is much about how one feels.
The study, however, cannot be applied to Asian countries where proactive behavior is the opposite of high status. Humility is the source of respect for people there.
To my mind, further study of group hierarchy should involve new experiments with mixed types of groups, not only members with the same sex and age and over longer periods.
The study can be a reliable basis for future research, especially in the context of the role of human mindset, self-esteem, as well as social interaction. It raises the question of how the way of thinking and mood influence an individual’s position in the society. It also discusses what the role of competence is and whether it is better to be a professional or a self-confident person with fewer skills.