UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A paradox of pride : hubristic pride predicts strategic dishonesty in response to status threats Mercadante, Eric J.


Hubristic pride predicts both anti-social, norm-violating behaviors and high social status. This raises the question: How might an anti-social emotion promote social status? We propose that that hubristically proud individuals’ grandiose, inflated sense of self leads them to use strategic dishonesty to gain status after status threats. Through a series of six studies, we employ a deceptive experimental paradigm including a behavioral measure of dishonesty. Results reveal that hubristically proud individuals exaggerate their performance on a cognitive task when they believe they will subsequently work with a highly competent partner (i.e., when experiencing a status threat), but not after threats of low power, social exclusion, or inferiority to others that they will not directly encounter. Further analyses demonstrate that this effect is unique to hubristic pride and not due to shared variance with the dark triad traits. This investigation furthers our theoretical understanding of the functionality of hubristic pride; although dishonesty is always risky, when it pays off, it can result in high status and all of its consequent fitness benefits.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International