IACM 2022 Abstract Book »
Reconciling the Mixed Effects of Dominance on Competence Evaluations: A Dual-Pathway Model and a Meta-Analytical Test
Although prominent theories predict that expressing dominant behavior yields higher competence evaluations than nondominant behavior, empirical evidence in support of this prediction is mixed with some studies documenting positive effects but other studies finding negative or null effects. We reconcile these mixed findings by developing a theoretical model which proposes that effects of dominant behavior on competence evaluations can be explained by the form of dominance the actor expresses and how deeply the evaluator is personally involved in the situation. A meta-analysis of the existing literature (84 studies; total N = 18,652) supports the model and shows that dominance increases competence evaluations (a) when the behavior is expressed agentically (e.g., confidently putting forth one’s views, speaking in an assertive tone) but not when it is expressed aggressively (e.g., interrupting, speaking in a dismissive tone), and (b) when evaluators are personally involved in the context but not when they are not.