Two experiments suggest that the experience of power can interact with a person's level of power motivation to produce effects on risky decision making. In Study 1, assignment to a position of power increased risk taking among participants with low levels of power motivation but reduced risk taking among participants with high levels of power motivation. In Study 2, participants high in power motivation again made more conservative decisions, but only under circumstances in which the dominance hierarchy was unstable and there was potential for losing their power. When power was irrevocable and participants' choices had no bearing on their ability to retain power, both high and low power-motivated participants responded by making riskier decisions. Findings suggest that although power may generally lead to riskier decisions, power may lead to more conservative decisions among power-motivated individuals, especially when the status quo is perceived to be in jeopardy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin|
|State||Published - Apr 2007|
- Decision making
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology