The implicit power motive predicts decisions in line with perceived instrumentality
Number of pages
SourceMotivation and Emotion, 42, 3, (2018), pp. 309-320
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
Motivation and Emotion
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Past research suggests that the implicit power motive (i.e., an unconsciously held motivational disposition to derive pleasure from having impact on others) predicts a preference to interact with individuals having submissive-looking faces. The present research extends this finding by testing whether the relation between the implicit power motive and approaching submissiveness depends on instrumentality. In two experiments, participants were assigned to a group that would ostensibly compete with another group. Within this intergroup context, they were asked to select persons as leaders or members for the in-group or the out-group. Potential leaders and members were displayed as submissive-looking or dominant-looking. Results showed that the implicit power motive predicted decisions favoring dominant-looking persons as in-group leaders, and submissive-looking persons as out-group leaders (Study 1) or in-group members (Study 2). These findings indicate that the tendency for people high in the implicit power motive to approach submissive-looking persons depends on the perceived instrumentality for gaining influence over others.
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