Suppose you are fundraising for a good cause, and you know somebody with a lot of money, who might or might not be sympathetic. As you approach this interaction, you are likely to think hard about this other person’s motives, predisposition, history, and mood. All these attempts at mindreading are efforts to seek prediction, and perhaps avenues for influence and control, in service of your worthy goals. Outcome dependency is the key feature of this relationship in this context. People function in hierarchies, among other types of relationships. Status and power differences appear between rich and poor, famous and obscure, boss and subordinate, parent and child, majority and minority. Our program of research investigates some social cognitive dynamics that cut across these specific instances to what we hope are more general principles of responses to uncontrollability from occupying lower social ranks.