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Controlling Other People: The Impact of Power on Stereotyping



This article presents a theory of the mutually reinforcing interaction between power and stereotyping, mediated by attention. The powerless attend to the powerful who control their outcomes, in an effort to enhance prediction and control, so forming complex, potentially nonstereotypic impressions. The powerful pay less attention, so are more vulnerable to stereotyping. The powerful (a) need not attend to the other to control their own outcomes, (b) cannot attend because they tend to be attentionally overloaded, and (c) if they have high need for dominance, may not want to attend. Stereotyping and power are mutually reinforcing because stereotyping itself exerts control, maintaining and justifying the status quo. Two legal cases and a body of research illustrate the theory and suggest organizational change strategies.
... Power thus involves a considerable degree of role autonomy, which allows the boundary spanner to engage in discretionary trust behavior . In contrast, boundary spanners who lack power and have less access to resources tend to be more sensitive to how they are being evaluated and what prescriptive elements their organizational context contains (Fiske, 1993), such as trust standards deduced from the identity, formal structures, and network ties of the organization. Such drivers will play a major role in shaping trust decisions when boundary spanners lack power. ...
... Turning to the entitativity antecedents on the right-hand side of our model in Figure 1, we argue that the power of the trustor's boundary spanner will have a similar moderating effect. This is because power influences the cognitive complexity in actors' information processing, with high-power individuals forming social evaluations, such as trust judgments, in a much more automated and less inclusive fashion (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003)-possibly because the consequences of inaccurate evaluations are less dire for them, and/or because of the myriad cognitive demands typically associated with high-power positions (Fiske, 1993;Neuberg & Fiske, 1987). In particular, high-power actors incorporate significantly fewer individuating pieces of information about a target-such as a partner organization's homogeneity, accountability, and stability. ...
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Trust represents a key social mechanism facilitating collaboration in interorganizational relationships. Yet, the concept of interorganizational trust is surrounded by substantial ambiguity, especially as it pertains to the levels of analysis at which it is located. Some scholars maintain that trust is an inherently individual-level phenomenon, whereas others insist that organizations constitute the central sources and referents of trust in interorganizational relationships. Our article addresses this controversy, aiming to reduce conceptual ambiguity and foster cumulative progress. Using a micro-sociological approach, we advance knowledge of the meaning and context-specific relevance of individual- vs. organizational-level trust. Specifically, we apply the notion of organizational actorhood to both the trustor and the trustee in an interorganizational relationship. We then build on micro-institutional and entitativity theory to offer a model of the antecedents of organizational actorhood that identifies a set of contextual conditions explaining the degree to which an organization rather than individuals within it constitutes the focal origin and target of trust. The contingent account we propose here helps bridge disparate traditions of scholarship on interorganizational trust by highlighting that trust can, but need not always, reside to a substantial extent at a supraindividual level of analysis.
... Power acts as a heuristic solution to potential conflicts among group members and guides social perception and behavior [1]. Extensive research in the field of social psychology has shown that social power affects a wide variety of social and cognitive processes, such as stereotyping [2], moral judgment [3] as well as nonverbal behavior, like emotional displays [4], and its inferences [5]. ...
... 2) Exploratory Findings: Apart from the postulated hypotheses, we further investigated the data to have a better understanding of the interaction under these conditions. As mentioned earlier, apart from the standard questionnaires, we added 5 other questions to the post questionnaire, specifically designed for this task (Table II item [1][2][3][4][5]. For instance, the first two items measure the trust before and after the interaction. ...
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Can social power endow social robots with the capacity to persuade? This paper represents our recent endeavor to design persuasive social robots. We have designed and run three different user studies to investigate the effectiveness of different bases of social power (inspired by French and Raven's theory) on peoples' compliance to the requests of social robots. The results show that robotic persuaders that exert social power (specifically from expert, reward, and coercion bases) demonstrate increased ability to influence humans. The first study provides a positive answer and shows that under the same circumstances, people with different personalities prefer robots using a specific social power base. In addition, social rewards can be useful in persuading individuals. The second study suggests that by employing social power, social robots are capable of persuading people objectively to select a less desirable choice among others. Finally, the third study shows that the effect of power on persuasion does not decay over time and might strengthen under specific circumstances. Moreover, exerting stronger social power does not necessarily lead to higher persuasion. Overall, we argue that the results of these studies are relevant for designing human--robot-interaction scenarios especially the ones aiming at behavioral change.
... Assim, os estereótipos servem para coesão social, em que o indivíduo se sente como participante de um grupo, mas aqueles que não se encaixam nessa concepção pré-determinada são considerados desvios do padrão -e não uma confirmação de que a realidade é muito mais complexa. Essa "resposta cognitiva" baseada em categorização de pessoas é o que a psicóloga Susan Fiske (1993) entende como o estereótipo operando a serviço do controle social. ...
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Em 2020, a doença do COVID-19 espalhou-se pelo mundo tendo Wuhan, na China, como a primeira cidade a sentir seus efeitos. Apesar de não ainda existir uma resposta definitiva sobre a origem do vírus, o tema acerca do ódio contra asiáticos e descendentes voltou a ser discutido devido aos recentes ataques racistas nos Estados Unidos. O presente artigo tem como objetivo analisar as causas e consequências dessa hostilidade, partindo da antagonização oriental criada pelo Ocidente, compreendendo a xenofobia que se desenrolou até os dias atuais.
... The use of PCL implies a position of superiority of the author regarding the person or community they are referring to, suggesting an imbalance in terms of power or privilege (Foucault, 1980). Especially when directed towards vulnerable communities, PCL fuels discrimination and perpetuates inequalities (Ng, 2007;Mendelsohn et al., 2020), feeds stereotypes and misinformation (Fiske, 1993), and makes it more difficult for underrepresented groups to overcome social difficulties (Nolan and Mikami, 2013). ...
... Language is a powerful medium that intricately encodes social dynamics between people, such as perspectives, biases, and power differentials (Fiske, 1993). When writing, authors choose how to portray or frame each person in a text, highlighting certain features (Entman, 1993) to form larger arguments (Fairhurst, 2005). ...
... As Language Models (LMs) get deployed into more and more real world applications, safe deployment is a pressing concern (Chowdhery et al., 2022;Zhang et al., 2022;. The twin issues of toxicity and bias in text generation are important challenges to such deployment (Holtzman et al., 2019;Bender et al., 2021;McGuffie and Newhouse, 2020;Sheng et al., 2019;Fiske, 1993). Often, the toxicity and bias goals are opposed to each other, as toxicity mitigation techniques may increase the bias of a language model towards certain protected groups such as gender, race or religion (Welbl et al., 2021;Xu et al., 2021). ...
... Llevado al terreno de las relaciones interpersonales, la categorización sería un proceso normativo que responde a una necesidad de identificación e integración social. La propia Fiske (1993) resalta que los procesos de categorización social y estereotipia tienen una función social encaminada a establecer un control social, una forma de mantener el status quo por parte de los grupos que ostentan un mayor poder. Por tanto, las categorías sociales se construyen y reflejan las relaciones sociales y de poder existentes. ...
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Esta obra muestra cómo los productos discursivos (institucionales, publicitarios, políticos, mediatizados en redes sociales, e, incluso, artísticos) crean un ima­ginario que no solo determina la visión de un grupo social, sino que llega a condicionar su propia consideración identitaria y su comportamiento, así como el de aquellos con los que interactúa. La heterogeneidad de los trabajos que conforman el volumen responde a la transversalidad necesaria para abordar un aspecto sociocomunicativo que precisa de una revisión a todos los niveles implicados (el lingüístico, el comunicativo, el sociocultural y el psicosocial). Con esta obra se quiere contribuir al conocimiento del funcionamiento del discurso y de la repercusión que tiene en la configuración de la imagen de la mujer, en general, y de la mujer andaluza, en particular, y en la fijación de unos presupuestos que, hoy más que nunca, han de ser desenmascarados.
Power is an all-pervasive, and fundamental force in human relationships and plays a valuable role in social, political, and economic interactions. Power differences are important in social groups in enhancing group functioning. Most people want to have power and there are many benefits to having power. However, power is a corrupting force and this has been a topic of interest for centuries to scholars from Plato to Lord Acton. Even with increased knowledge of power's corrupting effect and safeguards put in place to counteract such tendencies, power abuse remains rampant in society suggesting that the full extent of this effect is not well understood. In this paper, an effort is made to improve understanding of power's corrupting effects on human behavior through an integrated and comprehensive synthesis of the neurological, sociological, physiological, and psychological literature on power. The structural limits of justice systems' capability to hold powerful people accountable are also discussed.
Stereotypes are defined as the typically unfavorable or inaccurate perceptions that are attributed to an entire group or category of people. These cultural sources of prejudice and discrimination are based on racial, ethnic, religious, and other social differences in an attempt to explain entire groups of people based solely on selected information. Stereotypes have been studied as automatic and unconscious thoughts, but are learned over time in social contexts and perpetuated by the socialization process in various ways. Stereotypes can result in historical patterns of prejudice and discrimination in society, but have also been demonstrated to have individual impacts such as creating a self‐fulfilling prophecy and stereotype threat. Stereotype threat is a situational impact of stereotyping in which individuals are aware of the negative stereotypes that surround their particular social group and they feel anxiety that their actions might confirm the stereotype as true.
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