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PS YC HOLOGICA L SC IENCE

Research Article

Differentiating Social and Personal Power


Opposite Effects on Stereotyping, but Parallel Effects on Behavioral Approach Tendencies
Joris Lammers,1 Janka I. Stoker,2 and Diederik A. Stapel1
1

Tilburg University and 2University of Groningen

ABSTRACTHow does power affect behavior? We posit that

this depends on the type of power. We distinguish between social power (power over other people) and personal power (freedom from other people) and argue that these two types of power have opposite associations with independence and interdependence. We propose that when the distinction between independence and interdependence is relevant, social power and personal power will have opposite effects; however, they will have parallel effects when the distinction is irrelevant. In two studies (an experimental study and a large eld study), we demonstrate this by showing that social power and personal power have opposite effects on stereotyping, but parallel effects on behavioral approach. How does power affect behavior? This is an important question in psychology, given that we live in a world with extremely salient power differentials. Presidents can decide on the economic fate of millions, CEOs can hire or re thousands of employees, and generals can make decisions that determine whether thousands of soldiers live or die. If peoples behavior is affected by their power, then it is crucial to know how and why. In the current research, we argue that to answer how power affects behavior, it is necessary to take a closer look at the concept of power itself. We propose that power can refer to different things, which in turn have different effects. In the relevant literature, however, power is traditionally treated as a single construct, and the difference between various aspects of power is ignored. The multitude of competing and diverging denitions of power
Address correspondence to Joris Lammers, Tilburg Institute for Behavioral Economics Research (TIBER), Department of Social Psychology, Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg, The Netherlands, e-mail: j.lammers@uvt.nl.

already indicates that a monolithic power concept is too restrictive (Fiske & Berdahl, 2007). A close look at these many denitions of power suggests that there are two main types.
SOCIAL POWER AND PERSONAL POWER

One group of denitions describes power as the ability of a person to inuence others and make them do things they would not do otherwise (e.g., Weber, 1914/1978). In this case, power means exercising control over other people. This type of power is often called social power (Overbeck, in press; Van Dijke & Poppe, 2006). An example of social power is the power of managers over their employees. A second group of denitions describes power as the ability to do and get what you want, without being inuenced by others (e.g., Cartwright, 1959; Emerson, 1962; French & Raven, 1959). In this case, power is the ability to ignore the inuence of others, to control ones own outcomes, and to be personally independent. This type of power is often called personal power (Galinsky, Magee, Gruenfeld, Whitson, & Liljenquist, 2008; Overbeck, in press; Van Dijke & Poppe, 2006). Examples of personal power are the types of power that money or knowledge brings. Someone who has a lot of money or knowledge is less dependent on others than someone who lacks these things. In everyday life, certain positions bring more social power, and others more personal power. For example, successful artists have mainly personal power, as they can decide when and what they paint, whereas army ofcers have a lot of social power over their troops, who must closely follow their orders. Many positions of power entail both social and personal power. Yet this should not be taken to mean that social and personal power cannot be distinguished as separate concepts, with separate effects. In this article, we aim to show that one can make the distinction between social and personal power. In addition,

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Differentiating Social and Personal Power

we aim to show that sometimes one should make such a distinction, as the two types of power can have different and even opposite effects. A number of researchers have already used the social/personal power distinction. However, all did so to help focus attention on an aspect of power that they felt had been neglected. For example, Van Dijke and Poppe (2006) showed that in general, people prefer to increase their personal power (i.e., independence from others) but have no special desire for social power (over others). Galinsky et al. (2008) argued that power decreases peoples dependence on norms, which is an effect of personal rather than social power. Similarly, Galinsky, Gruenfeld, and Magee (2003) speculated that power has two elementsresponsibility and self-interestthat perhaps have different effects. The authors mentioned in this paragraph have limited themselves, however, to speculating about whether effects in their research were due more to social or to personal power. They did not directly compare social power and personal power as independent constructs. We claim that it is important to make such direct comparisons because social power and personal power are conceptualized in completely different ways. Personal power is power over oneself and freedom from the inuence of others. People who experience a substantial amount of personal power are unconstrained by, and independent from, others (Cartwright, 1959; Emerson, 1962). As a result, people high in personal power do not need to bother or care about other people in their social environment. Social power, on the other hand, is associated with interdependence rather than with independence (Arendt, 1969; Parsons, 1967). It is therefore strongly linked with the need for responsibility. We propose that the effects of social and personal power can differ if the distinction between independence and interdependence is relevant for the variable of interest.
STEREOTYPING: OPPOSITE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL POWER

Several authors have already observed that power can have different effects on stereotyping: Power sometimes increases stereotyping and sometimes decreases it (Chen, Ybarra, & Kiefer, 2004; Overbeck & Park, 2001, 2006). It is, however, unclear why this is the case. Overbeck and Park (2006) suggested that some power relations are more people centered than others, but it is still unclear what exactly distinguishes morepeople-centered power from less-people-centered power. We posit that the distinction between social and personal power is essential here and can improve our understanding of the relation between power and stereotyping. Because personal power means freedom from others, we argue that it increases stereotyping. People with a lot of personal power will therefore be less inclined to spend the extra effort to individuate and make sense of others. Instead, they will simply rely on automatic cognition, in particular, on stereotypes (Fiske,

1993; Fiske & Neuberg, 1990; Neuberg & Fiske, 1987). Yet social power means responsibility over other people. Responsible exercise of power requires care and consideration in dealing with others. For example, even though managers have power over their employees, this usually does not mean that they stereotype them. Instead, they are motivated to pay extra attention to understand what their employees are like and what they think (Bass, 1998). This is why social power should decrease stereotyping (Fiske & Neuberg, 1990; Neuberg & Fiske, 1987). This analysis of the link between personal and social power and stereotyping effects ts nicely with how previous studies empirically approached the effect of power on stereotyping. Studies that found a positive effect of power on stereotyping typically manipulated power in independent settingsassociated with personal power. In these studies, participants in a high-power condition are typically given the opportunity to select anonymous alleged job applicants, whom they do not meet or know and with whom they have no sense of interdependence. They are also completely free and independent in how they select candidates. Any sense of responsibility is therefore blocked. See, for example, studies that use the Springeld evaluation paradigm (Fiske & Depret, 1996; Goodwin, Gubin, Fiske, & Yzerbyt, 2000) and studies that use the work group paradigm (Fiske & Depret, 1996). In contrast, studies that found a negative effect of power on stereotyping typically manipulated power in interdependent settingsassociated with social power. In these experiments, powerful people operate as agents of an organization, responsible for their subordinates performance as members of an interdependent collective. For example, they adopt the role of a professor versus a student (Overbeck & Park, 2001, Study 1) or of a judge in a legal case (Overbeck & Park, 2001, Study 2), two roles that have strong associations with responsibility. Another study that reported decreased stereotyping among the powerful (Chen et al., 2004) obtained these effects by priming the experience of power but predominantly used social-power stimuli (i.e., authority, executive, inuence, control, and boss) and only one personal-power stimulus (money).
APPROACH: PARALLEL EFFECTS OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL POWER

Importantly, we propose that effects of power are contingent on the distinction between social and personal power only if the distinction between independence and interdependence is relevant for that effect. One area where the distinction between independence and interdependence is irrelevant to the effect of power is behavioral approach (Anderson & Berdahl, 2002; Galinsky et al., 2003; Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003; Smith & Bargh, 2008). As Keltner et al. have explained, power increases behavioral approach tendencies both because high power is associated with the freedom to act without interference

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(i.e., personal power) and because high power is associated with control over other peoples rewards (i.e., social power). Social and personal power both contribute to the effect.
STUDY 1: AN EXPERIMENT

traits, all stereotypical for women (i.e., dependent, social, sensitive, naive, dedicated, caring, modest, kind, covetous, and friendly), on a 9-point scale ranging from not at all, 1, to very much, 9 (see Banaji, Hardin, & Rothman, 1993; Stapel & Koomen, 2001). Manipulation Checks. Finally, all participants completed three types of manipulation checks, all administered on 9-point scales, ranging from not at all, 1, to very much, 9. Four items measured feelings of personal power (e.g., I felt independent; a 5 .84), four items measured feelings of social power (e.g., I felt in charge of others; a 5 .83), and four items measured unspecic, general power (e.g., I felt powerful; a 5 .96).

To test our predictions, we performed two studies. In Study 1, we primed social power and personal power and compared their effects on stereotyping and behavioral approach. Method Participants and Design Participants comprised 113 university students (73 women and 40 men with a mean age of 21.4 years) who took part in exchange for h7. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions in a 3 (manipulation: social power, personal power, or control) 2 (dependent variable: stereotyping or approach) between-participants design. Procedure Participants rst completed an adapted version of the experiential power prime (Galinsky et al., 2003). In the social-power condition, participants were asked to recall an experience in which you had power over others, where you controlled and directed other people. This means that you could determine what these others should do or what they would get. We asked participants in the personal-power condition to recall an experience in which you personally had power, where you were independent from the inuence of others. This means that you could fully determine what you yourself would do or get. Participants in the control condition recalled the last time they went shopping. All the participants used a sheet of paper with 20 lines to write about this experience. There was no difference among conditions on the amount recalled (overall M 5 9.5 lines completed), F(2, 109) < 0.5, p > .6. Measures Behavioral Approach. Half of the participants were randomly selected to complete a 12-item behavioral approach scale (e.g., Currently, I would like to do my best to get the things I want). Participants rated each item on a 9-point scale ranging from fully disagree, 1, to fully agree, 9 (a 5 .71). This scale reliably measures actual approach-related behavior tendencies (Lammers, Galinsky, Gordijn, & Otten, 2008). Stereotyping. The other half of the participants completed a Donald paradigm (see Higgins, Rholes, & Jones, 1977), to measure the degree to which they were inclined to stereotype. Participants read a short story (18 lines of text) about a girl named Petra, who behaved in an ambiguously stereotypically female manner (e.g., behaving in a way that may be interpreted as showing dependency on her boyfriend, as being indecisive, and as exhibiting strong empathy). Next, they rated Petra on 10

Results Manipulation Checks Factor analysis on the 12 manipulation-check items yielded three clearly identiable constructs (general, social, and personal power), each with strong factor loadings on their respective components and low loadings on other components. Results of the factor analysis are shown in Table S1 in the Supporting Information available on-line (see p. 1549).1 General power (averaged over four items) correlated strongly with social power (r 5 .68, p < .001) and correlated weakly with personal power (r 5 .27, p 5 .06). As expected, social power and personal power were uncorrelated (r 5 .12, p 5 .43). Preliminary analyses also showed that social power and personal power were selectively manipulated and general power was jointly manipulated. That is, personal-power scores were highest in the personal-power condition, and social-power scores were highest in the social-power condition; in addition, general power scores were higher in the personal- and socialpower conditions than in the control conditions. Details of these analyses are displayed in Table S2 in the Supporting Information available on-line. Stereotyping An analysis of variance (ANOVA) on the effect of the experimental manipulations (social, personal, and control) on participants stereotyping showed a robust effect, F(2, 58) 5 8.68, p < .001, Zp 2 :23. Contrast analyses showed thatin keeping with predictionspersonal power increased stereotyping (M 5 6.07, SD 5 0.47), compared with the control condition (M 5 5.74, SD 5 0.47), t(58) 5 2.21, p 5 .03, whereasalso in keeping with predictionssocial power decreased participants tendency to stereotype (M 5 5.44, SD 5 0.49), compared with the control condition, t(58) 5 2.01, p 5 .049. The difference between social power and personal power was highly signicant, t(58) 5 4.17, p < .001.
1

Within-condition factor analyses showed similar patterns.

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Approach An ANOVA on the effect of the experimental manipulation of power on participants behavioral approach tendencies showed a robust effect, F(2, 49) 5 3.71, p 5 .03, Zp 2 :13. In keeping with predictions, contrast analyses showed that personal power increased participants approach tendencies (M 5 5.68, SD 5 0.74), compared with the control condition (M 5 5.11, SD 5 0.87), t(49) 5 2.56, p 5 .01, and social power likewise increased approach tendencies (M 5 5.79, SD 5 0.74) compared with the control condition, t(49) 5 2.11, p 5 .04. As expected, social power and personal power did not differ, t(49) 5 0.41, p 5 .68.

STUDY 2: A CROSS-SECTIONAL FIELD STUDY

Although this experimental manipulation in Study 1 had many advantages, it had one drawback: An important element in our predictions was that social and personal power (as different aspects of power) can have opposite effects, even though they are in reality often positively correlated. To show this, we decided to measure social power and personal power in existing relations and study how they are related to stereotyping and approach. Method Participants and Design Readers of the national monthly magazine Intermediair, a Dutch journal aimed at mid- and high-level employees, were asked to voluntarily complete a questionnaire on the Internet. In total, 3,082 respondents completed the questionnaire (32.9% women, 67.1% men, with a mean age of 37.1 years). Respondents varied in their levels of power at work (57.8% executive staff, 23.1% lower management, 14.7% middle management, and 4.4% top management). Measures We measured social and personal power with two single items. In keeping with a denition of social power as power over others, we measured this construct by asking respondents to indicate, on a 5-point scale ranging from not at all, 1, to very much, 5, to what degree they inuenced and affected other people in their organization. In keeping with a denition of personal power as power over oneself, we measured this construct by asking respondents to indicate, on a 5-point scale ranging from none, 1, to very much, 5, to what degree they had power over themselves (i.e., could do what they wanted). Respondents then completed a series of 100 unrelated items (taking approximately 810 min), which served as a ller task. Next, we measured stereotyping by asking respondents to indicate to what degree they thought 12 gender-stereotypic traits applied to men and women. Participants rated three negative male traits (i.e., aggressive, dominant, and blunt), three positive male traits (i.e., rational, assertive, and technical), three negative female traits (i.e., neurotic, dependent, and unstable), and three positive female traits (i.e., talkative, sensitive, and considerate) on 9-point scales ranging from not at all, 1, to very much, 9 (a 5 .83). Next, we measured respondents behavioral approach orientation, by means of the Promotion Strategy Index (Sassenberg, Jonas, Shah, & Brazy, 2007). The promotion strategy index is an accepted, short measure of regulatory t and measures behavioral approach and inhibition (promotion and prevention) on ve 9-point bipolar scales (a 5 .71). Finally, we asked respondents for their gender, age, education, and length of employment, to be able to control for these. All of our dependent and independent variables were normally distributed.

Discussion As predicted, we found that social and personal power had parallel effects on approach but opposite effects on stereotyping. That is, personal power increases stereotyping, social power decreases stereotyping, and both personal and social power increase approach. Furthermore, our manipulation checks showed that both social power and personal power are independent constructs that do not strongly correlate with each other but do correlate positively with general power. These manipulation checks also showed that social and personal power can be reliably primed as independent constructs; our personal-power manipulation selectively increased personal power, our socialpower manipulation selectively increased social power, and both manipulations increased general power.2 To rule out that these effects were caused by the fact that our power instruction might have primed a self- versus other-orientation, we conducted an additional study, in which 103 university students (73 women and 30 men, with a mean age of 19.7 years) participated in exchange for h7. The design was similar to that of Study 1, but instead of the dependent variables, we administered (in random order) ve other- versus self-orientation scales: the Empathy subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1983), the Inclusion of the Other in the Self Scale (Aron, Aron, & Smollan, 1992), the Concern for Others subscale of the student version of the Comparative Emphasis Scale (Ravlin & Meglino, 1987), the Relational-Interdependent SelfConstrual Scale (Cross, Bacon, & Morris, 2000), and the Individualistic and Altruistic subscales of the Social Value Orientation Scale (Van Lange, 1999). ANOVAs revealed no effect of our power manipulation on any of these other- versus self-orientation scales, Fs(2, 100) 1.91, p ! .15.3 These results show that our manipulation did not affect self- and other-orientation.

2 We also checked whether these manipulation checks mediated the main effects. This was not the case. This might have been caused by the strong effects on, and low variance of, these manipulation checks. 3 Reassuringly, these nonsignicant trends showed that social power nonsignicantly decreased altruism, and nonsignicantly increased individualism, compared with control and personal-power conditions.

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Results Social and Personal Power As we had predicted, social and personal power correlated positively (r 5 .44, p < .001). This simple bivariate correlation was about equally strong for men (r 5 .45) and for women (r 5 .41). There were no indications that this correlation was nonlinear or that it was weaker or stronger at higher or lower levels of power. Stereotyping We then checked how social and personal power were related to stereotyping by performing a regression analysis. In a rst step, in which we entered only demographic variables, we found a negative effect of age (b 5 0.01, p 5 .003), of education (b 5 0.07, p 5 .007), and of gender (women stereotyped less than men; b 5 0.18, p < .001). We then added, in a second step, personal and social power. As expected, we found that personal power increased stereotyping (b 5 0.05, 95% condence interval, or CI 5 [0.01, 0.09], p 5 .01), whereas social power decreased stereotyping (b 5 0.04, 95% CI 5 [0.08, 0.01], p 5 .03). Approach When we entered the demographic variables, we found a positive effect of length of employment (b 5 0.03, p < .001), of education (b 5 0.11, p 5 .002), and of age (b 5 0.03, p < .001). We then added personal and social power. As expected, personal power (b 5 0.22, 95% CI 5 [0.19, 0.26], p < .001), and social power (b 5 0.18, 95% CI 5 [0.13, 0.24], p < .001) both increased behavioral approach tendencies. These results replicated the effects of Study 1 by measuring rather than manipulating social and personal power. Again, social power and personal power had parallel effects on approach but opposite effects on stereotyping, even though they were positively correlated.
GENERAL DISCUSSION

associated with independence and freedom, but social power decreases stereotyping because it is associated with interdependence and responsibility. When the independence-interdependence distinction is irrelevant, as in behavioral approach, personal power and social power have parallel effects.

Limitations We showed these effects of personal and social power on stereotyping and approach by (a) priming (Study 1) and (b) measuring (Study 2). Some readers may wonder about the ecological validity of these effects. We note, however, that the priming manipulations and measures of power we used have similar effects as structural manipulations of power (see Anderson & Galinsky, 2006; Chen, Lee-Chai, & Bargh, 2001). Other readers may wonder about the ecological validity of our rather abstract dependent variables. We argue, however, that this is a strength rather than a weakness of our approach, as more elaborate measures are likely to be associated with related concepts, such as responsibility, and thus lead to confounded results. The abstract measures we used easily generalize across different types of power. Furthermore, previous research has shown that such abstract measures have had similar effects to more face-valid measures of approach (e.g., Lammers et al., 2008) and stereotyping (e.g., Devine, 1989).

Power has a strong inuence on human behavior. It not only gives people inuence over the world and other people but also has a wide range of strong side effects on cognition and behavior: People who have power think and act differently from people who lack it (Kipnis, 1972). If we want to understand society, we need to understand how power affects behavior (Russell, 1938/ 1960). In the past decades, psychologists have intensively tried to do this, generating a wealth of literature on the effect of power on cognition and behavior. The current work shows that studying power as a monolithic concept is unlikely to further our understanding of its effects. We distinguished personal and social power and showed that these two types of power can have different effects because they are differentially associated with interdependence and independence. Personal power increases stereotyping because it is

Suggestions for Future Research We found in Study 1 that the manipulation check of general power correlated more strongly with that of social power than with that of personal power. This suggests that the subjective meaning that participants give to the concept of power overlaps more with social power than with personal power. Future research might want to determine to what degree popular primes of general power (e.g., Galinsky et al., 2003, Experiment 2) manipulate social and personal power. This would allow a more detailed understanding of the nature of their effects. On a related note, our nding that general behavioral approach is unaffected by the distinction between social and personal power does not mean that more specic behavioral effects are similarly unaffected. If the distinction between independence and interdependence is relevant, then this more specic behavior will also be affected. Most likely, personal power increases behavior that goes against social norms and constraints, while social power decreases such counternormative behavior (cf. Galinsky et al., 2003, Study 3). Our results also do not imply that all cognitive effects of power are subject to the distinction between social and personal power. For example, Smith and Trope (2006) found that feelings of elevated power increase abstract thinking. This perceptual effect of power is most likely unrelated to either independence or interdependence and is therefore invariant to the personal/social power distinction.

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Links to Existing Literature Our results link to other research that shows the malleability of power effects. Personal (Chen et al., 2001), cultural (Zhong, Magee, Maddux, & Galinsky, 2006), and situational (Lammers et al., 2008) associations with power can drastically affect the results. In addition, we show that even within the concept of power lies the root for such disparities. Power is too basic a phenomenon to have simple effects.
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SUPPORTING INFORMATION

Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article: Table S1 Table S2 Please note: Wiley-Blackwell is not responsible for the content or functionality of any supporting materials supplied by the authors. Any queries (other than missing material) should be directed to the corresponding author for the article.

(RECEIVED 5/22/08; REVISION ACCEPTED 4/28/09)

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