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.

Adam Galinsky, D.H. Gruenfeld, and J. Magee
Journal Article
Publication Date
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Full Citation

Galinsky, Adam, D.H. Gruenfeld, and J. Magee
. “From power to action.”
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, (September 01, 2003):