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Objects of desire: Subordinate ingratiation triggers self-objectification among powerful

Inesi, ME; Lee, SY; Rios, K; (2014) Objects of desire: Subordinate ingratiation triggers self-objectification among powerful. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , 53 19 - 30. 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.01.010. Green open access

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Abstract

We propose that powerful individuals can become victims of self-objectification, whereby power-relevant attributes become more important to their self-definition and lead to behavior consistent with that self-definition. This process is triggered by the receipt of ostensibly kind acts from subordinates, which are interpreted by power-holders as objectifying acts of ingratiation. In Studies 1 and 2, high-power participants rated power-relevant attributes as more important to their self-definition, but only after a triggering event (i.e., receiving a favor, reading a scenario about a subordinate who voices agreement with his boss's ideas). In Studies 3 and 4, high-power participants who received a favor were more likely than others to believe that they are objectified for their power-relevant attributes. As a result, they rated power-relevant attributes as more important to their self-definition (Study 3) and were willing to pay more for products associated with power, but not for products unrelated to power (Study 4).

Type: Article
Title: Objects of desire: Subordinate ingratiation triggers self-objectification among powerful
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.01.010
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2014.01.010
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.
Keywords: Power; Self-objectification; Subordinate; Ingratiation; Favor; Instrumentality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1443505
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