Your Status Depends Partly on Your Upward or Downward Momentum

An individual who was said to have risen in status to become the fourth-ranked member of a 10-person team was viewed by research participants as having greater prestige (6.60 versus 5.24 on a 1-to-9 scale) than if he was said to have declined to become fourth-ranked, according to a team led by Nathan C. Pettit of New York University. In judging status, people appear to consider not only current position but also whether an individual has upward or downward “momentum,” the researchers say.

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