Knapen, J. E., Blaker, N. M., & Van Vugt, M. (2018). The Napoleon complex: When shorter men take more. Psychological Science, 1-11. DOI: 10.1177/0956797618760196

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Gerpott, F. H., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Silvis, J. D., & Van Vugt, M. (2017). In the eye of the beholder? An eye-tracking experiment on emergent leadership in team interactions. The Leadership Quarterly.pdf button


Integrating evolutionary signaling theory with a social attention approach, we argue that individuals possess a fast, automated mechanism for detecting leadership signals in fellow humans that is reected in higher visual attention toward emergent leaders compared to non-leaders. To test this notion, we rst videotaped meetings of project teams and collected leadership ratings for the team members from three rating sources. Second, we provided 18 naïve observers with 42 brief, muted video clips of the team meetings and analyzed their eye gazing patterns. Observers gazed at emergent leaders more often, and for an average longer duration, than at non-leaders. Gender eects occurred such that male emergent leaders received a higher number of xations than female emergent leaders. Non-verbal behavior analysis indicated that emergent leaders showed a higher amount of active gestures and less passive facial expressions than non-leaders. We discuss theoretical and methodological directions for emergent leadership research in teams.




Grabo, A, Spisak, B., & Van Vugt, M. (2017). Charisma as signal: An evolutionary perspective on charismatic leadership. The Leadership Quarterly

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Ronay, R., Oostrom, J. K., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & van Vugt, M. (2017). Pride before the fall: Overconfidence predicts escalation of public commitment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 13-22.

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Van der Meij, L., Schaveling, J., & Van Vugt, M. (2016). Basal testosterone, leadership and dominance: a field study and meta-analysis. Psychoneurendocrinology, 72, 72-79

download buttonThis article examines the role of basal testosterone as a potential biological marker of leadership andhierarchy in the workplace. First, we report the result of a study with a sample of male employeesfrom different corporate organizations in the Netherlands (n = 125). Results showed that employees withhigher basal testosterone levels reported a more authoritarian leadership style, but this relationshipwas absent among those who currently held a real management position (i.e., they had at least onesubordinate). Furthermore, basal testosterone levels were not different between managers and non-managers, and testosterone was not associated with various indicators of status and hierarchy suchas number of subordinates, income, and position in the organizational hierarchy. In our meta-analysis(second study), we showed that basal testosterone levels were not associated with leadership in men norin women (9 studies, n = 1103). Taken together, our findings show that basal testosterone is not associatedwith having a leadership position in the corporate world or related to leadership styles in leaders. Wesuggest that basal testosterone could play a role in acquiring leadership positions through dominant andauthoritarian behavior.

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