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Title: Coordinating life in groups : where, when and why paying attention to higher rank matters
Author: Gobel, M. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 9813
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Social hierarchy matters. Although decades of research in social sciences show the important role that leaders play in coordinating group activities, many questions remain unanswered: Who is the highest ranking person in a given situation? When should we pay attention to our leaders? What are the psychological mechanisms underlying social hierarchy? The answers to these questions, as often is the case in science, are complex. My research programme examines the psychological processes underlying the effects of social hierarchy. On the one hand, I study naturally occurring rank differences amongst members from the general public. I examine where paying attention to higher rank matters, comparing the signalling and perceiving of social rank across cultures. On the other hand, I experimentally manipulate rank differences and the social context in which participants of higher and lower rank interact. I examine when paying attention to higher rank matters, showing that looking at higher rank fulfils a dual function, both perceiving and signalling information. I examine why paying attention to higher rank matters, demonstrating that higher ranked individuals efficiently guide onlookers' visual attention in service of the task at hand. Taken together, my research highlights the fundamental influence that social hierarchy exerts over human behaviour and cognition. I will discuss the contributions of my research across disciplines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available