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Power with Its Pants Down: Social Power Increases Sensitivity to Internal Desires

Handelshøgskolen ved UiS inviterer til åpent seminar hvor Luk Warlop fra KE Leuven vil presentere sin artikkel: Power with Its Pants Down: Social Power Increases Sensitivity to Internal Desires

Presentasjonen er en del av seminarrekken i økonomi og finans på Handelshøgskolen ved UiS. Alle interesserte er hjertelig velkomne.

Tittel: Power with Its Pants Down: Social Power Increases Sensitivity to Internal Desires

Ved:  Luk Warlop, KE Leuven

Sted: Ellen & Axel Lunds hus H-102.

Abstract: 
We propose and provide evidence that elevated feeling of power readily increases sensitivity to one’s visceral states and internal desires. As a result of this augmented self-focused attention, high power individuals demonstrate sensitivity to rewards only when they are experiencing a hot visceral state. Our proposition contradicts the prediction of the Approach-Inhibition theory of power (Keltner, Grunefled, Anderson, 2003), the most dominant theory in the social psychology of power. This theory posits that merely having power increases individuals’ proclivity to approach rewards, due to activation of the behavioral approach system (BAS).

Relying on the recent neurological and behavioral evidence on the general and domain-independent effects of activating the motivational system, and by utilizing several measures of reward wanting (e.g. intertemporal discounting, willingness to Pay, and actual reward consumption), we test these two competing hypotheses with respect to variety of primary (e.g. food and juice reward) and learned rewards (e.g. money, hedonic food items, massages, ... ). We do this by independently manipulating individuals’ feeling of social power and their experience of a hot visceral state (i.e. desire for sex). Our findings do not support the proposition of the seminal Approach-Inhibition theory of power. Rather, in line with our own conceptualization, we provide consistent evidence that elevated feeling of power increases sensitivity to one’s internal desires and visceral states.

High-power individuals show enhanced reward sensitivity only when they are experiencing a hot visceral state. In conclusion, we thoroughly discuss the important contributions of our research in understanding the social power effects on individuals’ cognition, emotion and behavior. We propose a broad array of hypotheses for future research deriving from our core argument in this thesis: social power naturally and readily increases self-focused attention.


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