Power and the Inattention to Obstacles and Social Constraint: Implications for Disobedience, Conformity, and Dissonance
26 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2003
Four experiments explore the psychological effects that power has on the possessor of power. Recent studies have suggested that power activates the behavioral approach system (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, in press) and leads directly to action (Galinsky, Gruenfeld, & Magee, 2003). The current research shows that power assists individuals in overcoming natural inhibitions and constraints that exist in the social environment and can lead to disobedience, nonconformity, and even dissonance. Power can thus free a person from internal conflict in some cases (e.g., allowing for the expression of attitudes that don't conform to the pressure from others) and create internal conflict in others (e.g., arousing dissonance and leading to shifts in attitudes). The discussion focuses on how the social consequences of inattention to social constraint can either be prosocial and antisocial.
Keywords: Power, Conformity, Disobedience
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