Dating someone different social status
Finally, in an experiment with both high- and low-SES college students, Henry demonstrated that boosting people’s sense of self-worth diminished aggressive tendencies amongst low-status individuals.
Henry asked some students in the experiment to write about a time when they felt important and valuable.
As renowned neuroscientist, Michael Gazzaniga, has noted, “When you get up in the morning, you do not think about triangles and squares and these similes that psychologists have been using for the past 100 years. You think about where you are in relation to your peers.” Between CEO and employee, quarterback and wide receiver, husband and wife, status looms large.
Recent work by social scientists has tackled the topic, elucidating behavioral differences between low-status and high-status individuals, and the methods by which those at the bottom of the totem pole are most successful at climbing to the top.
Other students did not receive this assignment, but instead completed a rote task about defining nouns.
In a second portion of the experiment, all participants answered questions about how willing they would be to respond aggressively to threats.
In other words, low-status individuals’ aggressive and violent behavior is precisely the opposite of what they should be doing to ascend the societal totem pole.
Above and beyond the effect of geography, however, the level of status disparities in a particular county explained these increased murder rates.
Even after accounting for the general level of wealth in a given county (wealthier counties tend to have lower murder rates), status disparity still predicted murder rates.
Those who behaved cooperatively, but lacked connections went unnoticed.
Social connectedness had similar effects for uncooperative MBA students.