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Psychol Sci. 2009 Mar;20(3):284-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02292.x. Epub 2009 Feb 3.

Pride: adaptive social emotion or seventh sin?

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Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


This experiment examined the ability of pride to serve as an adaptive emotion within the context of social interaction. After an in vivo induction of pride or a neutral state, participants engaged in a group problem-solving task. In contrast to a conventional view that pride is often associated with negative interpersonal outcomes, results confirmed that proud individuals not only took on a dominant role within the group problem-solving task, but also were perceived as the most likeable interaction partners. These findings suggest that pride, when representing an appropriate response to actual performance (as opposed to overgeneralized hubris), constitutes a functional social emotion with important implications for leadership and the building of social capital.

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