Evolutionary accounts of the general factor of personality (GFP) state that high-GFP individuals tend to be selected as leaders more often. We directly tested this assumption using a simulated two-step (quasi-experimental) election campaign to decide who would become a general student leader in a Chinese college. The results showed that GFP scores, as assessed before the experiment, indeed could predict who became leaders of their subgroups (in Step 1) and also who received the most votes to become the general leader (in Step 2). Additional analyses revealed that the lion share of the variance in election outcomes accounted for by personality (i.e., the Big Five) could be attributable to individual differences in the GFP. To our knowledge, this is the first controlled social (quasi) experiment with a high ecological validity showing that the GFP is related to being able to successfully lobby for being elected as a leader. These findings are in line with the evolutionary perspective on the GFP.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Chinese National Scholarship
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