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Does Power Increase Self-Control? Episodic Priming May Not Provide the Answer


Heller, Sonja; Ullrich, Johannes (2017). Does Power Increase Self-Control? Episodic Priming May Not Provide the Answer. Collabra, 3(1):3.

Abstract

Powerful people (e.g., political and business leaders) should be able to control their impulses and act in line with long-term rather than short-term interests. However, theories of power suggest different answers to the question whether the basic experience of feeling powerful decreases (e.g., Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003) or increases self-control performance (e.g., Magee & Smith, 2013). We conducted a pre-registered direct replication of the only experiment testing the effects of power on self-control (Joshi & Fast, 2013, Study 3). In contrast to the original results, social power, operationalized by episodic priming, did not affect temporal discounting. A possible explanation is the fact that the power priming failed to elevate participants’ sense of power. Thus, the null findings challenge the power priming paradigm rather than the two theories from which opposite predictions were derived. In order to understand how power affects self-control, future research may need to rely on other manipulations.

Abstract

Powerful people (e.g., political and business leaders) should be able to control their impulses and act in line with long-term rather than short-term interests. However, theories of power suggest different answers to the question whether the basic experience of feeling powerful decreases (e.g., Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003) or increases self-control performance (e.g., Magee & Smith, 2013). We conducted a pre-registered direct replication of the only experiment testing the effects of power on self-control (Joshi & Fast, 2013, Study 3). In contrast to the original results, social power, operationalized by episodic priming, did not affect temporal discounting. A possible explanation is the fact that the power priming failed to elevate participants’ sense of power. Thus, the null findings challenge the power priming paradigm rather than the two theories from which opposite predictions were derived. In order to understand how power affects self-control, future research may need to rely on other manipulations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPsych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:06 Mar 2017 14:33
Last Modified:14 Sep 2017 20:37
Publisher:University of California Press
ISSN:2376-6832
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.48

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