Functional leadership: Bi-strategic controllers high on effortful control show gains in status and health

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bi-strategic, effortful control, health, dominance, social status, temperament


Most human studies reveal that social strategy is important to dominance rank within a hierarchy. In particular, bi-strategic controller strategies, the combination of prosocial (helping behavior) and coercive strategies (forcing others) are related to achieving and maintaining social dominance. Additionally, temperament traits such as effortful control are important in allowing the individual to fine-tune strategy use to the current context. However, social hierarchies also involve social dynamics that may create physical and emotional challenges, and these challenges are tied to health outcomes. The current study examines the relationships between social positioning, social strategy usage, temperament traits, and health. Findings reveal that self-reported social dominance was related to bi-strategic strategy usage. In addition, rating high in both bi-strategic resource control and effortful control (referred to as functional leadership orientation) was related to a variety of health components including energy, emotional well-being, social functioning and overall physical health. Although the causal direction remains unclear, it appears that bi-strategic controllers who are also high on effortful control are able to achieve both high status and better overall health.

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Massey-Abernathy, Amber, and Jennifer Byrd-Craven. "Functional leadership: Bi-strategic controllers high on effortful control show gains in status and health." Personality and Individual Differences 97 (2016): 193-197.

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