Date of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Amber Abernathy


The innate drive for human belongingness in cooperative societies is coupled with strategies they use to gain resources. Individuals in high social status use specific strategies to gain their status. Emotional intelligence and empathy are also factors that enable status acquisition as they facilitate connectedness and the ability to relate to others, which can be important for the development of humans as social beings. High status, or popularity among peers, is usually examined via peer-reports of sociometric and perceived popularity, however, they may be evaluated via likability or social dominance respectively due to shared characteristics. This study examined self-reported social dominance and self-reported likability as classifications of high status. Prior research shows socially dominant individuals (perceived popular) use a combination of prosocial and coercive strategies, though strategy usage has not been determined for individuals high in likability (sociometric popularity). Analyses showed prosocial strategies predicted self-reported likability, and both prosocial and coercive strategies predicted social dominance. This means self-reported likable individuals only use prosocial resource control strategies. Analyses showed emotional intelligence was a significant predictor of both high status variables. This study also explored the relationship of high status to cognitive and affective empathy and found that cognitive empathy predicted self-reported likability and social dominance, but that affective empathy did not predict either high status variable. This research differentiates between the two types of self-reported high status.


high status, social dominance, likability, resource control strategies, emotional intelligence, empathy

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


© Rebekkah Ann Wall

Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons