March 5, 2009 12:37:50 pm
Considering pride to be the seventh deadly sin may not reflect pragmatism anymore,for Northeastern University scientists have found that pride has the potential to foster the likelihood of individual success.
The researchers have found that pride not only leads individuals to take on leadership roles in teams,but also fosters admiration,as opposed to scorn,from team mates.
“We found that pride is quite undeserving of its negative reputation,” said David DeSteno,associate professor of psychology and co-author of the study.
“Pride actually constitutes a functional social emotion with important implications for leadership and the building of social capital,” he added.
Woking in collaboration with lead author Lisa Williams,DeSteno designed an experiment including individual and group activities.
For the individual activities,certain participants were induced to feel proud. The participants next interacted cooperatively on a problem-solving task,and were asked to evaluate their partners leadership and likeability.
The researchers observed that the participant who had received the pride induction took on a dominant role,and was perceived as the most “hands-on” during the activity.
They also found that the members of such participants team viewed them as more likable than the other participants.
“These are some of the first findings that show functional outcomes of pride within the context of actual social behaviour. Although when taken to extremes,pride can certainly be maladaptive,this research demonstrates the emotions potential for fostering successful interpersonal interaction,” said Williams.
The authors believe that these findings hold implications for successful management and team dynamics,especially in the context of organizational behaviour.
“Pride can play an integral role in enhancing team functioning by fostering confidence and admiration,” they note.
A research article describing the study has been published in the journal Psychological Science.
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