Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Yan Li, PhD
Kimberly Quinn, PhD
Peer status has been extensively studied in the past few decades. Popularity and likability are recognized as two distinct dimensions of peer status. However, the operationalization of likability has overlooked moderate liking resulting from casual and friendly relationships. The present study assessed moderate liking through peer ratings and examined its relation with popularity. In Study 1, the correlation between popularity and moderate liking and the correlation between popularity and likability derived from the traditional sociometric method were compared. Two Greek chapters were recruited. Thirty one participants nominated chapter members whom they liked the most and least and whom they thought were most and least popular. Participants also rated on the extent to which they liked each member. Participants then completed measures of fear of negative evaluations and basic needs satisfaction (i.e., relatedness, autonomy, and competence). Results showed that sociometric likability and moderate likability were positively correlated with popularity to a similar degree. None of popularity, sociometric likability, and moderate likability was correlated with fear of negative evaluations and basic needs satisfaction. In Study 2, changes to moderate likability were manipulated and the consequent effects on popularity and psychological well-being were compared. One hundred and sixty one MTurk users were recruited. Participants named nine casual friends and rated the extent to which they believed these casual friends liked them. Participants were then split into three conditions. Depending on the condition, participants were informed that people tended to misestimate/overestimate/underestimate (one of the three) how much they were liked by others. Participants then rerated four out of the nine casual friends whom they named earlier on the extent to which they believed these casual friends liked them. Participants also completed the measures of fear of negative evaluations and basic needs satisfaction (i.e., relatedness, autonomy,and competence). Results showed that changes in moderate likability did not cause any significant changes in self-perceived popularity, fear of negative evaluations, and basic needs satisfaction. Overall, the results did not support my hypotheses. However, moderate likability on both studies showed weak to moderate correlations with popularity, which warrants further investigation of the connection between social status and casual relationships.
Cui, Ziyue, "MODERATE LIKABILITY AND POPULARITY: UNDERSTAND PEER STATUS THROUGH CASUAL RELATIONSHIPS" (2019). College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations. 354.