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When low power meets status: powerlessness triggers behavioral inhibition only under low status

Deng, M; Guinote, A; Cui, L; (2018) When low power meets status: powerlessness triggers behavioral inhibition only under low status. Social Cognition , 36 (1) pp. 134-166. 10.1521/soco.2018.36.1.134. Green open access

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Abstract

It has been argued that powerlessness activates the behavioral inhibition system (BIS; Keltner, Gruenfeld & Anderson, 2003). Here we investigated the interactive effects of powerlessness and status—driven by actual or perceived competence—on the BIS. In Experiments 1 and 2 only powerless participants who were or feared being seen as incompetent self-reported behavioral avoidance toward power holders. Similarly, in Experiment 3 only those who were powerless and incompetent showed BIS-related emotion, action, and negotiation strategies. Moreover, in Experiment 4 the effects of incompetence on avoidant behavior among powerless individuals were mediated by BIS activation, seen in measures of frontal hemisphere asymmetry. These findings support the notion that having low status on dimensions relevant to powerless roles activates the BIS, whereas higher status levels are a buffer against lack of power.

Type: Article
Title: When low power meets status: powerlessness triggers behavioral inhibition only under low status
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1521/soco.2018.36.1.134
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.2018.36.1.134
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Social, Psychology, powerlessness, status, competence, behavioral inhibition, behavioral approach, STEREOTYPE CONTENT MODEL, SOCIAL-STATUS, FEEDBACK-SEEKING, EYE CONTACT, UNIVERSAL DIMENSIONS, DECISION-MAKING, RISK-TAKING, COMPETENCE, SELF, PERFORMANCE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090755
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