The Effects of Message Recipients' Power Before and After Persuasion: A Self-Validation Analysis

Pablo Briñol*, Richard E. Petty, Carmen Valle, Derek D. Rucker, Alberto Becerra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


In the present research, the authors examined the effect of a message recipient's power on attitude change and introduced a new mechanism by which power can affect social judgment. In line with prior research that suggested a link between power and approach tendencies, the authors hypothesized that having power increases confidence relative to being powerless. After demonstrating this link in Experiment 1, in 4 additional studies, they examined the role of power in persuasion as a function of when power is infused into the persuasion process. On the basis of the idea that power validates whatever mental content is accessible, they hypothesized that power would have different effects on persuasion depending on when power was induced. Specifically, the authors predicted that making people feel powerful prior to a message would validate their existing views and thus reduce the perceived need to attend to subsequent information. However, it was hypothesized that inducing power after a message has been processed would validate one's recently generated thoughts and thus influence the extent to which people rely upon their thoughts in determining their attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1040-1053
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • attitudes
  • metacognition
  • persuasion
  • power
  • self-validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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