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
    • "read the power manipulation instructions, they rated the transgressor's power in the game with one item: 'In this game, Player 2 has a lot of power over me' (1 = strongly disagree; 7 = strongly agree; Galinsky et al., 2003). At the end of the study, participants also indicated how apologetic the transgressor was with one item: 'Player 2's message shows that he/she is apologetic' (1 = not at all; 7 = completely). "
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    ABSTRACT: An apology, as an expression of remorse, can be an effective response from a transgressor to obtain forgiveness from a victim. Yet, to be effective, the victim should not construe the transgressor’s actions in a cynical way. Because low-power people tend to interpret the actions of high-power people in a cynical way, we argue that an apology (versus no apology) from high-power transgressors should be relatively ineffective in increasing forgiveness from low-power victims. We find support for this moderated mediation model in a critical incidents study (Study 1), a forced recall study (Study 2) among employees from various organizations and a controlled laboratory experiment among business students (Study 3).
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Human Relations
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    • "This can be done implicitly by using the sentence unscrambling task with words the researchers assume connote high or low power embedded in the stimuli (Chen, Lee-Chai, & Bargh, 2001, Experiment 1;Smith, Jostmann, Galinsky, & van Dijk, 2008, Experiment 2). Other experiments explicitly induce a sense of being powerful or powerless through asking participants to write about a time when they had power over another, or another held power over them (Anderson & Berdahl, 2002;Galinsky et al., 2003, Experiment 2). Ecological cues have also been used to instantiate a sense of individual power, including holding an expansive versus restricted body posture (Yap et al., 2013) and sitting in a professor's office chair versus the guest chair in a professor's office (Chen et al., 2001, Experiment 2). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study presents a conceptual analysis of social power. The most common theories of power are social-relational, an approach instantiated in a range of contemporary experiments that give participants the chance to control other people's outcomes. The relational approach is also reflected in various analyses of international relations. In comparing and contrasting relational theories of power, I identify logical inconsistencies and shortcomings in their ability to address empowerment and reductions in inequality. In turn, I propose a new ecological conceptualization of empowerment as the state of being able to achieve one's goals and of power as stemming from a combination of the capacity of the party and the affordances of the environment. I explain how this new conceptualization can describe the main kinds of power social relations, avoid logical contradictions, and moreover, distinguish power from agency and from control. This new conceptualization of power as the possibility of meeting goals, coupled with recognizing survival as the fundamental goal of all living things, implies an absolute and not relative or relational standard for power, namely well-being. It also allows us to conceive of power in ways that help address the many social concerns that have motivated research on power.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · British Journal of Social Psychology
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    • "Several prior studies have investigated the link between power and risky behavior. While attaining power might lead to more optimistic risk perceptions and more high-risk behavior (Anderson & Galinksy, 2006; Galinsky, Gruenfeld, & Magee, 2003), additional studies have clarified that this depends on whether individuals are motivated to acquire social power. Maner, Galliot, Butz, and Peruche (2007) showed that having power indeed promoted more risky decision-making, but only among individuals with lower power motivation. "
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    ABSTRACT: From a self-image failure perspective, narcissistic adolescents who feel socially disempowered might engage in exhibitionistic disclosures on Social Networking Sites (SNSs). Two studies investigated this hypothesis regarding normative (day-to-day) and problematic (sexuality, drinking) disclosures. In Study 1, cluster analysis revealed four adolescent classes (N = 471) with relatively higher/lower narcissism and power. Higher-Narcissism adolescents reported more normative SNS disclosures, but only Higher-Narcissism/Lower-Power youths reported more problematic disclosures. Study 2 adolescents (N = 56) received a low- or high-power experimental prime and reported risk perceptions surrounding both disclosure types. Higher-Narcissism youths primed with low power perceived less risk for problematic (but not normative) disclosures. For high-narcissism youths, too little power promotes tendencies to share “too much information” on SNSs.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Computers in Human Behavior
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