Who Wears The Crown : The Link Between Guilt Proneness And Leadership

1189 WordsOct 3, 20165 Pages
In Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears the Crown: The Link Between Guilt Proneness and Leadership, Dr. Rebecca Schaumberg and Dr. Francis Flynn of Stanford University argue that guilt-proneness is necessary for effective leadership. Their initial motivation was to identify, as many other researchers have, some of the traits necessary for good leadership. They noted that while positive affectivity is consistently correlated with good leadership, some negative affective traits such as guilt proneness had not been tested for their relationships to leadership ability. Based on previous research which identified guilt as a catalyst of prosocial behavior (Baumeister, Stillwell, & Heatherton, 1994), Schaumberg and Flynn postulated that susceptibility to guilt may incite behaviors corresponding to effective leadership. They adduced their hypothesis with three studies consisting of surveys, lab experiments, and archival research. The results of Schaumberg and Flynn’s research challenge perceptions that negative affectivity adversely impacts leadership potential, and indicate that guilt-prone individuals are more likely to become popular leaders. The first study, based on the hypothesis that guilt-prone individuals are likely to be perceived as having greater leadership ability, assessed 243 listserv-recruited participants’ reactions to the scores of others on the Test of Self-Consciousness Affect (TOSCA-3). The scores were simulated to display different shame or guilt-prone
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