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May 06, 2009

Comments

The key part of 'actual performance' was that subjects thought they had performed well on a specific task as opposed to just being prideful generally. Not 'actual performance' as in performing well _in fact_.

I'm interested in why you might think we're annoyed with people who are bidding for more status than they can support.

Awans, I would believe that the annoyance would stem from the fact that we don't believe that they've earned it. If we feel that they haven't earned it, we feel that they've done less than required. If they can do less than everyone else and get away with it, then their method is optimal and ours isn't. They then become a threat to us, and so we try to make them appear lesser by showing annoyance. If we can succeed, our methods of doing things is justified, or so it appears to us.
If it seems that they have earned it, then their methods appear to be a socially accepted path and our methods are not threatened by any new innovations.

Awans, Kuhi pretty much nails it. I'd add that status often translate into fulfillment of wants [resources, sex]. Since we're competing with others for access to limited resources, their claim for status they cannot defend would give them a head start on access to such resources, and it's in our best interest to get annoyed and cut them down to size. This is especially true because status is mostly relative, so their gain is our loss.

As an example, imagine a warrior returning to the tribe, telling the story of how he single-handedly won the war for the tribe [when in fact he hadn't]. If that claim stands, such a warrior would probably be able to get more/better women than he otherwise 'deserved.' This obviously hurts his fellow warriors, who, despite having fought as valiantly, are now knocked down in the pecking order. It's in their best interest to get annoyed at the liar and expose the truth. We probably developed annoyance at such things so that potential liars know ex ante that they will annoy people - innate annoyance is a credible signal of disapproval.

Read "Rocannon's World" by Ursula K LeGuin. It's sword-and-sorcery meets science fiction (with faster-than-light technology, no less). Often, this kind of works, sometimes classified as "not serious", offer surprising insights into subconscious details like the one made evident by the study mentioned above. This is sometimes true for comics, too.

In this case, the connection between "proud" and "noble" (and therefore likable or admirable) is made very clear in the book. I guess this is the case with many other works in the fantasy genre.

"Read "Rocannon's World" by Ursula K LeGuin. It's sword-and-sorcery meets science fiction (with faster-than-light technology, no less). Often, this kind of works, sometimes classified as "not serious", offer surprising insights into subconscious details like the one made evident by the study mentioned above. This is sometimes true for comics, too."
I can't read a comic book without subjecting it to economic, philosophical and scientific criticism. Which tends to really annoy casual comic book fans.

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