How Do Nominal Characteristics Lose Status Value? Asymmetry in Status Deconstruction. By: Melamed, David; Okuwobi, Oneya and Barry, Leanne. 2024. Social Psychology Quarterly. Vol. 87 Issue 1, p44-63.

Existing theories explain how the states of nominal characteristics acquire status value and the implications of status characteristics for the distribution of rewards, honor, and esteem in groups. It is less clear how characteristics lose status value. In this article, we combine the logic of status construction theory with loss aversion from decision theory to develop novel predictions about status loss. We predict that removing the mechanism of status construction theory will result in fading consensual status beliefs and that this will occur faster for low status actors. This results in a period of conflicting or asymmetric status beliefs between groups. Results from a six-condition controlled experiment support key predictions of consensual status loss, with low status actors viewing a gain in their status faster than high status actors view a loss to theirs. We discuss ways to extend and refine the work and the implications of our theory for racial and gender status-based inequalities.