Cross-status interactions: Concerns and consequences

Jillian K. Swencionis, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Two studies investigate individuals' concerns about interpersonal interactions when interacting with higher- and lower-status others, and how individuals manage those concerns. Various coping strategies emerge, including hiding status differences between the self and an interaction partner, self-promoting or ingratiating, and specifically cooperating downward. Study 1 shows students' motivation to affiliate with students at both lower- and higher-status universities, by strategically concealing their higher-status identities versus lower-status identities, respectively. With status experimentally manipulated in the laboratory in Study 2, higher-status participants shift their impression-management strategies by ingratiating themselves to their lower-status interaction partners, and shift their behavior by cooperating more than lower-status participants. These studies describe concerns and behavioral consequences involved in interpersonal interactions across social status divides, in particular a tendency of downward ingratiation and cooperation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-105
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


  • Cooperation
  • Impression management
  • Interpersonal interactions
  • Social class
  • Social comparison
  • Status
  • Stereotypes


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