Power: Past findings, present considerations, and future directions

Galinsky, A. D., Rucker, D. D., & Magee, J. C.
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.

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.

Wagner Faculty