Power and the Inattention to Obstacles and Social Constraint: Implications for Disobedience, Conformity, and Dissonance

26 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2003

See all articles by Adam D. Galinsky

Adam D. Galinsky

Columbia Business School - Management

Joseph C. Magee

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Deborah H. Gruenfeld

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Jennifer Whitson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Katie Liljenquist

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Galinsky, Adam D. and Magee, Joseph Carl and Gruenfeld, Deborah H. and Whitson, Jennifer and Liljenquist, Katie, Power and the Inattention to Obstacles and Social Constraint: Implications for Disobedience, Conformity, and Dissonance. 16th Annual IACM Conference Melbourne, Australia. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=400420 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.400420

Adam D. Galinsky (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Joseph Carl Magee

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Deborah H. Gruenfeld

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-725-6917 (Phone)
650-725-9932 (Fax)

Jennifer Whitson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Katie Liljenquist

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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