Status and its functions: Implications for social regulation, the self-concept, and subjective well-being Steven Blader New York University The effects of social hierarchy can be felt nearly everywhere and by nearly everyone. Indeed, social hierarchy (i.e., differentiation among social actors along a socially valued dimension) is a fundamental and ubiquitous force that profoundly shapes the nature of activity in every type of group and social collective. Nowhere is this truer than in organizational contexts, where hierarchical dynamics are continually reflected, shaped and reinforced through individuals’ titles, offices, salaries, influence, praise, reputations, drive, self-assurance, and postures—and everything in between. As a result, where an individual ‘sits’ within an organization’s social hierarchy is a critical determinant of her or his interactions with others, and, more broadly, the way that she or he experiences and navigates organizational life. These observations highlight the importance of understanding the psychology that underlies social hierarchy. Reflecting the importance of this topic, an extensive body of research has examined the psychological dynamics associated with an individual’s understanding of her or his hierarchical position. Most of this work has focused on investigating the psychology of power, and great strides have been made towards understanding how an individual’s sense of power shapes that individual’s judgments, behaviors, and overall orientation towards others. But power is not the only basis on which individuals are hierarchically differentiated from one another. For instance, although power is certainly a fundamental basis of social hierarchy, so is social status. Social status refers to the respect, admiration, and prestige that an individual has in the eyes of others (Magee & Galinsky, 2008). Although theorizing about their distinction has a rather long history (e.g., Emerson, 1962; Fiske, 2010; Goldhamer & Shils, 1939; Henrich & Gil-White, 2001; Ridgeway & Walker, 1995), prior empirical research has tended to either conflate status and power (i.e., conceptualizing and operationalizing them as interchangeable) or has focused exclusively on power and not considered status. Importantly, recent empirical work has begun to address this gap (e.g., Blader & Chen, 2012; Dubois, Rucker, & Galinsky, 2015; Fast, Halevy & Galinsky, 2012; Hays & Bendersky, 2015). The findings of this recent research substantiate the distinction between status and power, finding that they have different (and sometimes opposing) influences on a number of important outcomes. For instance, while power may enhance unfairness towards others, status has the opposite effect (Blader & Chen, 2012). These findings suggest that the psychology of status may be quite different from that of power and, thus, that inattention to status may limit our understanding of the psychology of social hierarchy. In my talk, I will present several lines of research that explore the distinct psychology of status and highlight several critical functions served by status. I will start by presenting evidence that status heightens attention towards others (in contrast to power, which often has the opposite effects). This work suggests that status has the potential to serve an important social regulatory function for groups, orienting high-status individuals’ attention and behavior towards others and, under certain conditions, towards collective concerns. I will then present research that examines the intra-psychic functions served by status. For instance, I will present evidence that status outpaces power as a determinant of people’s thoughts and feelings about themselves. This suggests that status serves an important function for the self-concept, bringing greater clarity to people’s sense of themselves. Finally, I will present evidence that status serves the function of shaping subjective well-being, once again outpacing the impact of power in this regard. Moreover, this work shows that status and power play distinct roles in accounting for the link between socioeconomic status (SES) and subjective well-being, but that status is relatively more impactful than power in accounting for that link. Overall, my talk will highlight that status serves a number of important, interconnected functions. For groups, status directs the focus and orientation of the most-valued group members towards others and, ultimately, towards collective interests and group success. For individuals, status shapes self-definition, impacting how individuals think and feel about themselves. In addition, status enhances the degree of meaning and life satisfaction that people experience. Notably, status differs from power because it serves these functions in ways that are simultaneously fulfilling for individuals and beneficial (rather than harmful) to interpersonal relations, intragroup dynamics, and the overall viability of groups and organizations.