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Why would anyone elect a narcissistic untrustworthy leader? A behavioural ecology approach

Abstract : Leader choice is a cornerstone of modern democracies and a central topic in cognitive sciences. In the present paper, we discuss an unresolved question in leader choice research: How can the cognitive mechanisms underpinning leader choice be both exquisitely responsive to contextual cues and blatantly suboptimal? Specifically, leaders displaying features that clearly threaten group coordination or that risk harming individuals’ interests are sometimes preferred. Our review of the literature suggests that this pattern can be explained by the fact that leader choice recycles social heuristics that evolved to evaluate individual’s achievements and track their competence. Achievement evaluations are a useful guide to select who to take information from and who to grant influence to in group decisions. When used in ‘leader choice' contexts however, this heuristic leads people to select high achievers whether or not they have adequate leadership skills (i.e. skills to successfully lead and coordinate the group).
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https://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_03064938
Contributor : Charlotte Bultel <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 4:06:35 PM
Last modification on : Monday, June 21, 2021 - 5:26:17 PM

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Lou Safra, Nicolas Baumard, Coralie Chevallier. Why would anyone elect a narcissistic untrustworthy leader? A behavioural ecology approach. 2020. ⟨ijn_03064938⟩

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