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Relationship Orientation as a Moderator of the Effects of Social Power

Relationship Orientation as a Moderator of the Effects of Social Power This research examined the hypothesis that the concept of power ismentally associated with different goals for individuals with a communal versusan exchange relationship orientation (M. S. Clark & J. Mills,1979). It was predicted that communals associate powerwith social-responsibility goals, whereas exchangers link powerwith self-interest goals. Thus, when power isactivated, distinct goals should be ignited for communals andexchangers. Power was primed unobtrusively using semantic cues in Study1 and using naturally occurring, environmental cues in Studies 2 and3. Across studies, power-primed communals responded insocially responsible ways, whereas power-primed exchangers actedmore in line with their self-interests. These power–goaleffects occurred nonconsciously. Overall, the data support takinga Person × Situation approach—one that allows for moderators suchas relationship orientation—to understand power's positive andnegative effects. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Personality and Social Psychology American Psychological Association

Relationship Orientation as a Moderator of the Effects of Social Power

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0022-3514
eISSN
1939-1315
DOI
10.1037/0022-3514.80.2.173
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This research examined the hypothesis that the concept of power ismentally associated with different goals for individuals with a communal versusan exchange relationship orientation (M. S. Clark & J. Mills,1979). It was predicted that communals associate powerwith social-responsibility goals, whereas exchangers link powerwith self-interest goals. Thus, when power isactivated, distinct goals should be ignited for communals andexchangers. Power was primed unobtrusively using semantic cues in Study1 and using naturally occurring, environmental cues in Studies 2 and3. Across studies, power-primed communals responded insocially responsible ways, whereas power-primed exchangers actedmore in line with their self-interests. These power–goaleffects occurred nonconsciously. Overall, the data support takinga Person × Situation approach—one that allows for moderators suchas relationship orientation—to understand power's positive andnegative effects.

Journal

Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Feb 1, 2001

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