Power

Acceleration with steering: The synergistic benefits of combining power with perspective-taking

Acceleration with steering: The synergistic benefits of combining power with perspective-taking
Social Psychological and Personality Science published online 11 February 2014. DOI: 10.1177/1948550613519685

Galinsky, A. D., Magee, J. C., Rus, D., Rothman, N. B., & Todd, A. R.
02/11/2014

Power is a psychological accelerator, propelling people toward their goals; however, these goals are often egocentrically focused. Perspective-taking is a psychological steering wheel that helps people navigate their social worlds; however, perspective-taking needs a catalyst to be effective. The current research explores whether combining power with perspective-taking can lead to fairer interpersonal treatment and higher quality decisions by increasing other-oriented information sharing, the propensity to communicate and integrate information that recognizes the knowledge and interests of others. Experiments 1 and 2 found that the combining power with perspective-taking or accountability increased interactional justice, the tendency for decision makers to explain their decisions candidly and respectfully. Experiment 3 involved role-based power embedded in a face-to-face dyadic decision-making task; the combination of power and perspective-taking facilitated the sharing of critical information and led to more accurate dyadic decisions. Combining power and perspective-taking had synergistic effects, producing superior outcomes to what each one achieved separately.

Neural Substrates of Social Status Inference: Roles of Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Superior Temporal Sulcus

Neural Substrates of Social Status Inference: Roles of Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Superior Temporal Sulcus
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience X:X, pp. 1–10. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00553

Mason, M. F., Magee, J. C., & Fiske, S. T.
01/06/2014

The negotiation of social order is intimately connected to the capacity to infer and track status relationships. Despite the foundational role of status in social cognition, we know little about how the brain constructs status from social interactions that display it. Although emerging cognitive neuroscience reveals that status judgments depend on the intraparietal sulcus, a brain region that supports the comparison of targets along a quantitative continuum, we present evidence that status judgments do not necessarily reduce to ranking targets along a quantitative continuum. The process of judging status also fits a social interdependence analysis. Consistent with third-party perceivers judging status by inferring whose goals are dictating the terms of the interaction and who is subordinating their desires to whom, status judgments were associated with increased recruitment of medial pFC and STS, brain regions implicated in mental state inference.

Investigations Done Right and Wrong: Government by Investigation, 1945-2012

Investigations Done Right and Wrong: Government by Investigation, 1945-2012
Brookings Institution Press, 2013.

Light, Paul
12/03/2013

Surveying the 100 most significant Congressional and presidential investigations of executive branch breakdowns between 1945 and 2012, Paul Light offers insight into those qualities that compose an “investigation done right.” Light’s research provides data into the quantity and quality of investigatory efforts in the modern era, as well as what these patterns reveal about what investigators can do to increase the odds that their work will pay off in improved government performance and more effective public policy.

 

Government by Investigation: Congress, President, and the Search for Answers, 1945–2012

Government by Investigation: Congress, President, and the Search for Answers, 1945–2012
The Brookings Institution Press, 2013.

Paul Light
10/24/2013

Presidential and congressional investigations are particularly powerful tools for asking tough questions about highly visible, often complex government breakdowns, including: communist infiltration of government 1950s, the Vietnam War during the 1960s, Watergate and Central Intelligence Agency abuses during the 1970s, among 96 others covered in Government by Investigation, by Paul Light. Light, one of America’s premier authorities on public service and management, provides a deep assessment of what he has identified as the federal government’s one hundred most significant investigations since World War II.

 

Power: Past findings, present considerations, and future directions

Power: Past findings, present considerations, and future directions
In J. Simpson (Assoc. Ed.), M. Mikulincer, & P. Shaver (Eds.), APA handbook of personality and social psychology, Vol. 3: Interpersonal relationships. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Galinsky, A. D., Rucker, D. D., & Magee, J. C.
10/08/2013

This chapter offers a comprehensive review of the psychology of power. We examine past waves of social psychological investigations into power, detail the current wave of power research that has exploded in the past decade, and capture emerging themes likely to develop into the next wave of research on power. Our review is structured around a detailed conceptual framework for understanding how power operates within and between people. Specifically, we identify the antecedents of a subjective sense of power (the structural, experiential, semantic, and physical manipulations) and the downstream effects of this sense of power on cognition, self and social perception, interpersonal behavior, motivation, emotion, and physiology. We also highlight critical moderators (e.g., individual differences, culture, status, legitimacy and stability) which influence a) whether an antecedent of power produces a sense of power or b) whether the sense of power produces a particular outcome. Finally, we review theories that account for how power guides and directs behavior and use these theories as a springboard to set an agenda for future research, including identifying factors that harness the positive consequences of power while mitigating its deleterious social effects.

Helping Without Harming: The Instructor’s Feedback Dilemma in Debriefing—A Case Study

Helping Without Harming: The Instructor’s Feedback Dilemma in Debriefing—A Case Study
Stimulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. October 2013 - Volume 8 - Issue 5 - p 304-316. doi: 10.1097/SIH.0b013e318294854e

Rudolph, J. W., Foldy, E. G. et al.
09/18/2013

Introduction

Simulation instructors often feel caught in a task-versus-relationship dilemma. They must offer clear feedback on learners’ task performance without damaging their relationship with those learners, especially in formative simulation settings. Mastering the skills to resolve this dilemma is crucial for simulation faculty development.

Methods

We conducted a case study of a debriefer stuck in this task-versus-relationship dilemma. Data: The “2-column case” captures debriefing dialogue and instructor’s thoughts and feelings or the “subjective experience.” Analysis: The “learning pathways grid” guides a peer group of faculty in a step-by-step, retrospective analysis of the debriefing. The method uses vivid language to highlight the debriefer’s dilemmas and how to surmount them.

Results

The instructor’s initial approach to managing the task-versus-relationship dilemma included (1) assuming that honest critiques will damage learners, (2) using vague descriptions of learner actions paired with guess-what-I-am-thinking questions, and (3) creating a context she worried would leave learners feeling neither safe nor clear how they could improve. This case study analysis identified things the instructor could do to be more effective including (1) making generous inferences about the learners’ qualities, (2) normalizing the challenges posed by the simulation, (3) assuming there are different understandings of what it means to be a team.

Conclusions

There are key assumptions and ways of interacting that help instructors resolve the task-versus-relationship dilemma. The instructor can then provide honest feedback in a rigorous yet empathic way to help sustain good or improve suboptimal performance in the future.

Partisan Priorities: How Issue Ownership Drives and Distorts American Politics

Partisan Priorities: How Issue Ownership Drives and Distorts American Politics
Cambridge University Press.

Egan, Patrick J.
07/22/2013

Americans consistently name Republicans as the party better at handling issues like national security and crime, while they trust Democrats on issues like education and the environment – a phenomenon called “issue ownership.” Partisan Priorities investigates the origins of issue ownership, showing that in fact the parties deliver neither superior performance nor popular policies on the issues they “own.” Rather, Patrick J. Egan finds that Republicans and Democrats simply prioritize their owned issues with lawmaking and government spending when they are in power. Since the parties tend to be particularly ideologically rigid on the issues they own, politicians actually tend to ignore citizens' preferences when crafting policy on these issues. Thus, issue ownership distorts the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policies.

The blind leading: Power reduces awareness of constraints

The blind leading: Power reduces awareness of constraints
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 579-582.

Whitson, JA, KA Liljenquist, AD Galinsky, JC Magee, DH Gruenfeld, & B Cadena.
01/01/2013

Previous research has found that power increases awareness of goal-relevant over goal-irrelevant information. However, this work has failed to distinguish between goal-facilitating and goal-inhibiting information, both of which are goal relevant. The current research investigated whether power increases the cognitive resources devoted to goal-facilitating information or reduces the cognitive resources devoted to goal-constraining information. Two experiments found that, compared to low-power individuals, high-power individuals recalled less goal-constraining information and generated fewer potential constraints that would prevent the protagonist of a story from completing his goal. However, there was no difference between the powerful and powerless in their recall or generation of goal-facilitating information. These results suggest that the powerful are more likely to act on their goals because the constraints that normally inhibit action are less psychologically present for them.

The social distance theory of power.

The social distance theory of power.
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17, 158-186.

Magee, JC, & PK Smith.
01/01/2013

We propose that asymmetric dependence between individuals (i.e., power) produces asymmetric social distance, with high-power individuals feeling more distant than low-power individuals. From this insight, we articulate predictions about how power affects (a) social comparison, (b) susceptibility to influence, (c) mental state inference and responsiveness, and (d) emotions. We then explain how high-power individuals’ greater experienced social distance leads them to engage in more abstract mental representation. This mediating process of construal level generates predictions about how power affects (a) goal selection and pursuit, (b) attention to desirability and feasibility concerns, (c) subjective certainty, (d) value-behavior correspondence, (e) self-control, and (f) person perception. We also reassess the approach/inhibition theory of power (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003), noting limitations both in what it can predict and in the evidence directly supporting its proposed mechanisms. Finally, we discuss moderators and methodological recommendations for the study of power from a social distance perspective.

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