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Abstract

Purpose

This exposition explains how Elementary Theory works and how it has been developed over the last two-and-a-half decades. Both increased scope and heightened precision are covered.

Methodology/Approach

Theoretic methodology is explained. Using that method formal models are constructed analogous to empirical events. Those models predict events, design experiments, and guide applications in the field.

Findings

There is a widely held belief in sociology that theory becomes more vague and imprecise as its scope broadens. Whereas broader generalizations are more vague than narrower ones, this exposition shows that abstract theory becomes more precise as its scope broadens.

Research Limitations/Implications

Here implications and limitations are closely connected. Regarding implications, this exposition shows that scientific explanations and predictions are viable today in sociology but only when exact theory is employed. Regarding limitations, the theory and research included in this exposition make clear why the empiricist search for regularities that dominates sociological research is so very limited in its results.

Originality/Value of Chapter

This exposition demonstrates that theory is the method of all the sciences and in particular the science of sociology.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-078-0

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 12 August 2017

Michael J. Lovaglia, Shane D. Soboroff, Christopher P. Kelley, Christabel L. Rogalin and Jeffrey W. Lucas

To determine the age at which influence peaks for men and women at work, then use empirical data to develop procedures predicting complex combining effects of diffuse…

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the age at which influence peaks for men and women at work, then use empirical data to develop procedures predicting complex combining effects of diffuse status characteristics.

Methodology/approach

A survey experiment with a nationally representative sample is used to measure the age at which the status value of men and women at work reaches a maximum. Research results are then incorporated into equations adapted from current status characteristics theory (SCT) procedures to model the combined effects of age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, occupation, and beauty.

Findings

Analyses reveal that the status value of men and women reaches a maximum in middle age, and that women reach a maximum status value at work at an earlier age than men.

Research limitations/implications

This approach maintains core assumptions of SCT and uses ongoing research results to calibrate a model predicting complex combining effects of diffuse status characteristics. Limitations include the need to develop additional empirical constants to make predictions in new research settings.

Practical implications

Predictions from the model can be used in hiring situations to adjust for interviewers’ nonconscious expectations related to status characteristics of job applicants.

Social implications

The disadvantage for women at work that increases through mid-career helps to explain the continuing underrepresentation of women in senior leadership positions. Awareness of the impact of socially valued characteristics like age and gender can help individuals respond more effectively to challenging social situations.

Originality/value

Extend the current SCT model to make predictions in contexts where people are being evaluated such as elections, hiring, and promotions.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-192-8

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2003

Michael J Lovaglia, Robb Willer and Lisa Troyer

We develop elements of Network Exchange and Expectation States Theories to explain the relationship between power and status. While power and status are highly correlated…

Abstract

We develop elements of Network Exchange and Expectation States Theories to explain the relationship between power and status. While power and status are highly correlated, demonstrating that power can be used to attain high status has proven difficult, perhaps because negative reactions to power use limit power users’ influence. We propose three ways to reduce negative reactions to power use. One of them, philanthropy, suggests a solution to the “free-rider” problem in collective action. If philanthropic contributions increase status, then contributing to a public good may also. Thus, status attainment may be an incentive motivating public goods contributions.

Details

Power and Status
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-030-2

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Book part
Publication date: 6 July 2005

Michael J. Lovaglia, Reef Youngreen and Dawn T. Robinson

A theory of self and the identities it comprises may explain differences in academic and other cognitive performance because successful performances are associated with…

Abstract

A theory of self and the identities it comprises may explain differences in academic and other cognitive performance because successful performances are associated with strong internal motivation. Identity control theory and affect control theory assume that individuals act to confirm identities, even when those actions have negative consequences. Cognitive performance, then, could be impaired if high performance is inconsistent with a salient identity. A developing theory explaining the relationship between identity maintenance and cognitive performance assumes that the effects of identity maintenance combine with other motivations to achieve. Anticipation of a performance relevant to an identity is assumed to put pressure on the identity, motivating performances consistent with it. Under some conditions identities may change to reflect different performance standards.

Details

Social Identification in Groups
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-223-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Jeffrey W. Lucas, Wesley S. Huey, Marek N. Posard and Michael J. Lovaglia

This chapter develops and tests a theory on relationships between perceptions of ability and adherence to rules, guidelines, and tradition. Drawing from theory and…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter develops and tests a theory on relationships between perceptions of ability and adherence to rules, guidelines, and tradition. Drawing from theory and research on status processes in groups, the theory proposes that adherence to rules can provide an alternative to task ability in demonstrating competence at a group task and that persons who perceive themselves to be low in ability will become especially likely to strictly adhere to rules.

Methodology/Approach

In an experimental study, participants received feedback that they had high or low ability at a group task that involved making judgments about bonuses in a fictitious organization.

Findings

Supporting the theory, participants who perceived themselves to be low in ability gave less money to employees technically ineligible for raises, even when the reason for the ineligibility was arguably trivial.

Research Limitations/Implications

The proposed theory and supportive results have a number of theoretical implications for how status processes shape individual behavior in groups. For example, the theory might help explain collective enforcement against free riding, with people low in ability being motivated to enforce norms against free riding to compensate for their perceived lack of ability to contribute.

Practical/Social Implications

It is easy to conjure examples in which persons who are seen as exceptionally competent also seem to be given wide leniency in adhering to rules. The theory and experimental test presented here can help in understanding the extent to which the following of rules may be seen as the domain of the incompetent.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-078-0

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Jeffrey W. Lucas, Heather Ridolfo, Reef Youngreen, Christabel L. Rogalin, Shane D. Soboroff, Layana Navarre-Jackson and Michael J. Lovaglia

Two studies investigate gender and status effects on self-handicapping: selecting actions that can impair future performances, perhaps to protect self-image. Gender…

Abstract

Two studies investigate gender and status effects on self-handicapping: selecting actions that can impair future performances, perhaps to protect self-image. Gender socialization and status processes suggest two potential explanations for the consistent finding that men self-handicap more than women. If status differences contribute to the tendency to self-handicap, then holding gender constant, those with high status on other characteristics would self-handicap more than those with low status. In Study 1, men assigned to high-status positions selected less study time (and thus self-handicapped more) than did men assigned to low-status positions. Women assigned high status, however, self-handicapped no more than did women assigned low status. Because study time as a measure of self-handicapping may be confounded with confidence or motivation, a second study assigned status and measured self-handicapping by the selection of performance-enhancing or -detracting music. Study 2 also found that high status increased self-handicapping among men but not among women. Both gender socialization and status processes may play roles in self-handicapping.

Details

Social Psychology of Gender
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1430-0

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Book part
Publication date: 6 June 2006

Michael J. Lovaglia, Jeffrey W. Lucas, Christabel L. Rogalin and Abigail Darwin

Fundamental theories of power and status have developed sufficiently to apply in educational and organizational contexts. The path from basic theory to program development…

Abstract

Fundamental theories of power and status have developed sufficiently to apply in educational and organizational contexts. The path from basic theory to program development is neither simple nor direct. We trace the application of theoretical principles taken from network exchange theories of power as well as status characteristics and expectation states theories through the interdisciplinary field of leadership studies to applications that interrelate basic research, applied research, undergraduate educational programs, and organizational development. Two proposals result (1) a leadership training program that will produce university graduates with effective leadership skills, while also bringing diverse high school students to participate in a university program and (2) basic status characteristics research to explain the glass ceiling phenomenon.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-330-3

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Book part
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Kevin T. Leicht, Douglas Thompkins, Tina Wildhagen, Christabel L. Rogalin, Shane D. Soboroff, Christopher P. Kelley, Charisse Long and Michael J. Lovaglia

Beginning in 1982, the majority of college students have been women and that majority has increased since. Explanations for the predominance of women in college…

Abstract

Beginning in 1982, the majority of college students have been women and that majority has increased since. Explanations for the predominance of women in college enrollments and completion include a variety of labor-market factors that might now advantage men less than in the past. Avariety of labor-market analyses show that, while some recent developments may have reduced incentives for men to enroll in college, labor-market explanations alone cannot account for the predominance of women in college. Some of the reduced incentives for male college enrollment point to gender identities typical of young men and women as an important explanation for the predominance of women in college. Preliminary evidence for the gender identity explanation is offered. More controlled studies capable of testing and exploring the implications of the gender identity explanation are proposed.

Details

Social Psychology of Gender
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1430-0

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2002

Jeffrey A. Houser and Michael J. Lovaglia

Explaining the development of group solidarity in status-differentiated groups is an interesting theoretical problem because solidarity is usually considered to stem from…

Abstract

Explaining the development of group solidarity in status-differentiated groups is an interesting theoretical problem because solidarity is usually considered to stem from positive affect in groups of status equals. Analysis of the evolution of human emotions allows the development of social theory focused on the functions of emotions. Human emotions evolved in tandem with the development of status hierarchies as a dominant form of social organization that function to coordinate the work of individuals in groups. Conflicting emotions generated by inequality and intragroup competition interact in status hierarchies to maintain group solidarity. An experimental test using a direct indicator of group solidarity is proposed.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-898-9

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Book part
Publication date: 12 August 2017

Abstract

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-192-8

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