Women in power-themed tasks: Need for power predicts task enjoyment and power stress
- 184 Downloads
The implicit power motive predicts individuals’ involvement in activities that allow them to have impact and influence on other people. Moreover, substantial evidence indicates that thwarting individuals’ implicit power motive relates to so-called power stress. The present series of studies addresses both topics among female participants. In study 1, findings indicate that the strength of the implicit power motive moderates the relationship between women’s self-reported dominance and their evaluations of a power-related task: A significant link between self-reported dominance and both motivation for task participation and task enjoyment could be verified only when the implicit power motive was well-pronounced. In the subsequent studies, actual and anticipated thwarting of the satisfaction of a strong implicit power motive was associated with different psychological and behavioral indicators of power stress. Participants with a high implicit power motive felt more negative affect (study 2), reported more negative explicit (study 3) and implicit (study 4) attitudes towards a dominant target person, and were coded more often for visible frown reactions (study 5) when the satisfaction of their implicit power motive was (potentially) thwarted compared to participants with a low implicit power motive and participants with a high implicit power motive that was, however, not at risk of being thwarted.
KeywordsImplicit need for power Explicit power motive Power stress Gender
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Baumann, N., Kaschel, R., & Kuhl, J. (2005). Striving for unwanted goals: Stress-dependent discrepancies between explicit and implicit achievement motives reduce subjective well-being and increase psychosomatic symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 781–799.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Burgoon, J. K., Buller, D. B., & Woodall, W. G. (1996). Nonverbal communication: The unspoken dialogue. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Christie, R., & Geis, F. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Darwin, C. (1962). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: John Murray (originally published in 1872).Google Scholar
- Ekman, P. (2003). Emotions revealed: Recognizing faces and feelings to improve communication and emotional life. New York: Times Books.Google Scholar
- Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1978). Facial Action Coding System: A technique for the measurement of facial movement. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Ekman, P., Friesen, W. V., & Ellsworth, P. (1972). Does the face provide accurate information? In P. Ekman (Ed.), Emotion in the human face (pp. 56–97). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Fodor, E. M. (2009). Power motivation. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of individual differences in social behavior (pp. 426–440). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Hofer, J., Busch, H., Chasiotis, A., Kärtner, J., & Campos, D. (2008). Concern for generativity and its relation to implicit pro-social power motivation, generative goals, and satisfaction with life: A cross-cultural investigation. Journal of Personality, 76, 1–30.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- McClelland, D. C. (1970). The two faces of power. Journal of International Affairs, 24, 29–47.Google Scholar
- McClelland, D. C. (1975). Power: The inner experience. New York: Irvington.Google Scholar
- McClelland, D. C., & Burnham, D. H. (1976). Power is the great motivator. Harvard Business Review, 54, 100–110.Google Scholar
- Russell, B. (1938). Power: A new social analysis. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
- Schultheiss, O. C., & Brunstein, J. C. (Eds.). (2010). Implicit motives. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Smith, C. P. (Ed.). (1992). Motivation and personality: Handbook of thematic content analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Stumpf, H., Angleitner, A., Wieck, T., Jackson, D. N., & Beloch-Till, H. (1985). Deutsche Personality Research Form (PRF) (German Personality Research Form). Göttingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
- Wigboldus, D. H. J., Holland, R. W., & van Knippenberg, A. (2004). Single target implicit associations. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
- Winter, D. G. (1973). The power motive. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Winter, D. G. (1994). Manual for scoring motive imagery in running text. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
- Winter, D. G., & Stewart, A. J. (1978). The power motive. In H. London & J. E. Exner (Eds.), Dimensions of personality (pp. 391–447). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar