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The Stress Mechanism in Dominance Contests

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Abstract

Face-to-face status hierarchies form in leadership cliques and during diplomatic negotiations. These may be analyzed with a biosocial model of dominance and deference. Central to this model are nonverbal and linguistic signals that a person does -- or should -- have relatively high or low status; that a stress mechanism underlies the allocation and exertion of status; and that the hormones testosterone and cortisol are central to the process.