Pamela K Smith

Pamela K Smith
University of California, San Diego | UCSD · Rady School of Management

PhD

About

42
Publications
83,805
Reads
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4,695
Citations
Citations since 2016
15 Research Items
2477 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Introduction
Additional affiliations
June 2009 - present
University of California, San Diego
June 2006 - June 2009
Radboud University
June 2004 - June 2005
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Education
August 1999 - June 2004
New York University
Field of study
  • social psychology

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
Full-text available
We propose that asymmetric dependence between individuals (i.e., power) produces asymmetric social distance, with high-power individuals feeling more distant than low-power individuals. From this insight, we articulate predictions about how power affects (a) social comparison, (b) susceptibility to influence, (c) mental state inference and responsi...
Article
Significance Although power is a fundamental part of human relations, little is known about power in daily life. We studied the everyday experience of power by surveying individuals multiple times over 3 d regarding their subjective feelings of power and positional power. Power dynamics were a common, though not constant, experience. Rather than po...
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Who presents at conferences matters. Presenting research benefits speakers, and presenters shape the conclusions audiences draw about who can succeed in a field. This is particularly important for members of historically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, such as women. We investigated gender representation over a 13-year period among speake...
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There has been extensive discussion about gender gaps in representation and career advancement in the sciences. However, psychological science itself has yet to be the focus of discussion or systematic review, despite our field's investment in questions of equity, status, well-being, gender bias, and gender disparities. In the present article, we c...
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This research shows people are perceived as less powerful when they use pictures versus words. This effect was found across picture types (company logos, emojis, and photographs) and use contexts (clothing prints, written messages, and Zoom profiles). Mediation analysis and a mediation-by-moderation design show this happens because picture-use sign...
Article
When does saying no to a helping request hurt a person's influence? Across five studies, when someone was asked for help, saying no had two opposing effects on their actual and perceived influence by increasing their dominance, but decreasing their prestige. The cost of providing help moderated these effects. Overall, refusing to help decreased a p...
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Under what circumstances do people adopt a choice mindset? Three studies (two preregistered) tested whether higher power leads people to construe others as having more choice. When power was either measured (Study 1) or manipulated (Studies 2 and 3), high-power perceivers viewed others, even low-power others (Study 3), as having more choice than di...
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Because powerful people's thinking is impactful, it is critical to understand how power affects cognition. We detail how recent empirical findings reveal that power often improves cognitive functioning. First, power increases controlled processing, in particular intentionality. Second, power improves executive functioning, leading individuals to ex...
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High-power people frequently receive compliments from subordinates, yet little is known about how high-power people respond to praise. The current research addresses this gap in the empirical literature by testing the primary hypothesis that high-power people discount others’ praise more than equal- and low-power people. Secondary hypotheses also t...
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We propose that status influences individuals’ use of dominant versus submissive laughter, and that individuals are conferred status based on the way they laugh. In Study 1, naturally occurring laughter was observed while low- and high-status individuals teased one another. The use of dominant and submissive laughter corresponded to hierarchical va...
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Across three experiments, participants formed a larger number of categories when in a state of high, compared to low, psychological power. Moreover, in contrast to prior categorization research, which suggests forming more categories is tantamount to reduced breadth of categorization, high-power participants also formed a larger number of superordi...
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Power can be gained through appearances: People who exhibit behavioral signals of power are often treated in a way that allows them to actually achieve such power (Ridgeway, Berger, & Smith, 1985; Smith & Galinsky, 2010). In the current paper we examine power signals within interpersonal communication, exploring whether use of concrete versus abstr...
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Power holders exhibit more approach behavior than those without power and are even expected by others to do so. We proposed that this strong association between power and approach should make approach behavior a useful cue for perceiving one’s level of power: If I am approaching things, I must be powerful. Across three experiments, engaging in appr...
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Political and military leaders cheating on their spouses. Heads of banks committing widespread fraud. Religious leaders hiding abuse in their ranks rather than reporting it to the police. From the famous statement by Lord Acton to modern examples of power holders lying, cheating, and stealing, it has become a truism that power corrupts those who po...
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Voice pitch may not only influence the listeners but also the speakers themselves. Based on the theories of embodied cognition and previous research on power, we tested whether lowering their pitch leads people to feel more powerful and think more abstractly. In three experiments, participants received instructions to read a text out loud with eith...
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At the time of its publication, the Approach/Inhibition Theory of Power (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003) was a major advance in the study of power, and it has generated many empirical discoveries. The theory states that by reducing one’s dependence on others, high power activates approach tendencies and a focus on rewards, whereas low power a...
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Power – asymmetric control over valued resources – is a fundamental dimension of social relations. Classical conceptualizations of power emphasize its conscious nature. In this review, we reveal how power often operates nonconsciously and identify the different methods and paradigms used to activate or create a psychological sense of power outside...
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The present research examined the association between power, defined in terms of experienced control over outcomes and resources in a relationship, and interpersonal forgiveness. Based on recent findings in the literature suggesting that power is associated with goal directedness, it was hypothesized that high levels of experienced power should fac...
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This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the co...
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Having power means that one makes decisions that determine the outcomes of less powerful others (e.g., Deprét & Fiske, 1993). In fact, powerful people sometimes face multiple impactful, complicated decisions a day, with little room for error. How do they accomplish this? Recent research indicates that power changes not only a person’s responsibilit...
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Possessing social power leads to approach-related affect and behavior, whereas lacking power leads to inhibition (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, Psychol Rev 110:265–284, 2003). However, such effects should be moderated by whether an explanation is given for these power differences. Participants were assigned to a low-power or high-power role and t...
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Four experiments explored whether lacking power impairs executive functioning, testing the hypothesis that the cognitive presses of powerlessness increase vulnerability to performance decrements during complex executive tasks. In the first three experiments, low power impaired performance on executive-function tasks: The powerless were less effecti...
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One’s subjective sense of power often has greater influence on behavior than the amount of power one actually possesses. We propose that this sense of power may be determined in part by one’s style of information processing. As abstract thought is less constraining than concrete thought, and having power leads to more abstract thought [Smith, P. K....
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According to the approach/inhibition theory of power (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003), having power should be associated with the approach system, and lacking power with the avoidance system. However, to this point research has focused solely on whether power leads to more action, particularly approach-related action, or not. In three experim...
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Despite recent social and political advances, most interracial contact is still superficial in nature, and White individuals interact mainly with other Whites. Based on recent mere exposure research, we propose that repeated exposure to Whites may actually increase prejudice. In a series of experiments, White participants were subliminally exposed...
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Nonconsciously activated goals and consciously set goals produce the same outcomes by engaging similar psychological processes (Bargh, 1990; Gollwitzer & Bargh, 2005). However, nonconscious and conscious goal pursuit may have different effects on subsequent affect if goal pursuit affords an explanation, as nonconscious goal pursuit occurs in an exp...
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In the past century, a few hundred articles have been published about subliminal perception and applications such as subliminal persuasion. Subliminal persuasion refers to the subliminal presentation of stimuli by people (for example, advertisers) who intentionally try to influence our behavior. James Vicary claimed in 1957 that he increased the sa...
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Elevated power increases the psychological distance one feels from others, and this distance, according to construal level theory, should lead to more abstract information processing. Thus, high power should be associated with more abstract thinking-focusing on primary aspects of stimuli and detecting patterns and structure to extract the gist, as...
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Responds to comments on the current authors' original article (see record 2005-07382-003). We endorse Chartrand's (see record 2005-07382-004) taxonomy of conscious awareness for different stages of consumer decisions affected by environmental cues. In addition, we attempt to broaden the scope of this taxonomy by discussing its usefulness for cons...
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In this article, we argue that consumer behavior is often strongly influenced by subtle environmental cues. Using grocery shopping as an example (or a "leitmotif," if you wish), we first argue that the traditional perspective on consumer choice based on conscious information processing leaves much variance to be explained. Instead, we propose that...
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Following a functional perspective on evaluation, the authors hypothesized that subliminal exposure to extreme stimuli (e.g., extremely negative or positive words) would lead these stimuli to be perceived as less extreme. This process--affective habituation--was tested in 4 experiments. In Experiment 1, participants were subliminally exposed to ext...
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The authors investigated the distinctiveness and interrelationships among visuospatial and verbal memory processes in short-term, working, and long-term memories in 345 adults. Beginning in the 20s, a continuous, regular decline occurs for processing-intensive tasks (e.g., speed of processing, working memory, and long-term memory), whereas verbal k...
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For anyone, the expression of one's particular sexuality can be difficult even within the framework of an intimate relationship. On the Internet, however, many barriers to such expression (e.g., fears of embarrassment, rejection) are absent and individuals may feel freer to express their sexual needs there. We propose a process model by which these...

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