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Moving closer to reach the top:approach behavior increases one's sense of power

Smith, Pamela K. and McCulloch, Kathleen Cameron and Schouwstra, Anja (2013) Moving closer to reach the top:approach behavior increases one's sense of power. Social cognition, 31 (4). pp. 518-529. ISSN 0278-016X

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Abstract

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 approach behavior led individuals to feel explicitly (Exp. 1) and implicitly (Exp. 2) more powerful and to feel better suited for high-power jobs (Exp. 3), without affecting conscious affective experiences. Furthermore, the effect was not dependent on specific physical movements; the same movement was psychologically framed as either approach or avoidance and affected participants’ sense of power accordingly (Exp. 1 & 3). Since power itself leads to approach behavior, these results suggest a way power hierarchies may be unintentionally perpetuated or strengthened.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Social cognition
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 59565
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 29 Oct 2012 09:33
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2013 15:33
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/59565

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