From Power to Action

Management and Organizations, Department, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 10/2003; 85(3):453-66. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.85.3.453
Source: PubMed


Three experiments investigated the hypothesis that power increases an action orientation in the power holder, even in contexts where power is not directly experienced. In Experiment 1, participants who possessed structural power in a group task were more likely to take a card in a simulated game of blackjack than those who lacked power. In Experiment 2, participants primed with high power were more likely to act against an annoying stimulus (a fan) in the environment, suggesting that the experience of power leads to the performance of goal-directed behavior. In Experiment 3, priming high power led to action in a social dilemma regardless of whether that action had prosocial or antisocial consequences. The effects of priming power are discussed in relation to the broader literature on conceptual and mind-set priming.

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Available from: Joe C. Magee, Jul 10, 2014
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    • "Women's apparent preference for asking over negotiating may reflect women's greater concerns about politeness. Additionally , Small et al. (2007) found that priming a sense of power by recalling a time they had control over others (Galinsky, Gruenfeld, & Magee, 2003) improved women's attitude towards negotiating. The results suggest negotiation is a masculine-stereotyped task (Bowles & Kray, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Women’s relatively worse performance in negotiation is often cited as an explanation for gender differences in advancement and pay within organizations. We review key findings from the past twenty years of research on gender differences in negotiation. Women do underperform relative to men in negotiation, but only under limited circumstances, which means the performance gap is unlikely due to lesser skills on their part. The barriers between women and negotiation excellence are of three types: cognitive, motivational, and paradigmatic. Cognitive barriers stem from negative stereotypes about women’s negotiating abilities. Motivational barriers stem from desire to prevent women negotiators from excelling in a masculine domain. Paradigmatic barriers stem from how negotiation is currently studied. We call for greater attention to motivational barriers and for changes to the negotiation paradigm. Women negotiators are not incompetent, and training them to negotiate more like men is not obviously the solution. In fact, women have greater concern for others than men do, and their cooperativeness elevates collective intelligence and enables ethical behavior. Under a new paradigm of negotiation, the value of these strengths could become more readily apparent. In particular, we advocate for greater attention to long-term relationships, subjective value, and relational capital, all of which may have important economic implications in real world negotiations.
    Research in Organizational Behavior 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.riob.2015.09.002 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    • "Power holders also relied more on cognitive feelings that arose during thought processes, such as ease or difficulty of retrieval (Weick & Guinote, 2008). Finally, power holders acted more in line with feelings that arose when relating to their surroundings and reacted more strongly when encountering annoying stimuli compared with powerless individuals (Galinsky et al., 2003). In line with these findings, we derive the novel hypothesis that power increases reliance on motor experiences during the construction of judgments. "
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    ABSTRACT: The current work tested the hypothesis that power increases reliance on experiences of motor fluency in forming aesthetic preferences. In 4 experiments, participants reported their aesthetic preferences regarding a variety of targets (pictures, movements, objects, and letters). Experiments 1, 2, and 3 manipulated power and motor fluency (via motoric resonance, extraocular muscle training, and dominant hand restriction). Experiment 4 manipulated power and assessed chronic interindividual differences in motor fluency. Across these experiments, power consistently increased reliance on motor fluency in aesthetic preference judgments. This finding was not mediated by differences in mood, judgment certainty, perceived task-demands or task-enjoyment, and derived from the use of motor simulations rather than from power differences in the acquisition of motor experiences. This is the first demonstration suggesting that power changes the formation of preference judgments as a function of motor fluency experiences. The implications of this research for the links between power and action, as well as the understanding of fluency processes are discussed.
    Journal of Experimental Psychology General 09/2015; DOI:10.1037/xge0000095 · 5.50 Impact Factor
    • "In Experiment 1, we recruited samples of women and asked them to complete an episodic priming procedure designed to induce power or powerlessness (Galinsky et al., 2003; Hogeveen et al., 2013). Following the prime, we engaged the participants in a face/body inversion task. "
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    ABSTRACT: In contemporary society, sexual objectification is usually thought of as something that men do to women. However, this notion risks conflating the gender of the perpetrator with the fact that men often hold more social power than women. In the current study, we investigated whether power itself was associated with changes in processing of sexualized human targets, independent of the gender of the power holder. In Experiment 1, we primed separate groups of female participants to high-, low-, or neutral-power. We then engaged them in a recognition task involving upright or inverted sexualized images of men and women. Previous research using stimulus inversion manipulations has found that inversion of faces/bodies, but not of objects, disrupts recognition performance, suggesting a reliance on more configural processing in face/body perception compared to object perception. We found that women primed to high-power did not show an inversion effect for sexualized men but did show an inversion effect for sexualized women. In contrast, women primed to low-power showed an inversion effect for sexualized men and women. In Experiment 2, we replicated this finding and found a similar effect of power for male participants perceiving sexualized images of women. We discuss our results with reference to the literatures on objectification and the cognitive processes involved in the perception of sexualized men and women. Our study provides seminal evidence that power, rather than gender per se, may play a central role in sexual objectification.
    Psychology of Women Quarterly 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/0361684315604820 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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