Why your highness needs the people : comparing the absolute and relative representation of power in vertical space

D. Lakens, G.R. Semin, F. Foroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Earlier research (Schubert, 2005) has shown that power is represented in vertical space: powerful = up and powerless = down. We propose that power is not simply structured in space in absolute terms, but that relational differences in power moderate the vertical representation of the powerful above the powerless. Two studies reveal that when power differences are present (vs. absent), the vertical representation of power increases reliably. Power related words were positioned higher in vertical space (Experiments 1A and 1B), and translated above guessing average by the upper higher one of two Chinese ideographs (Experiments 2A and 2B) when power was manipulated within rather than between participants in an experimental task. These studies support the view that power relations constitute an important aspect of the vertical representation of power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Psychology
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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