Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 6
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: January 2010

4 - The conceptualization of power and the nature of interdependency: The role of legitimacy and culture

Summary

Power is often considered the central animating force of human interaction. Who has power, who is affected by power, and how that power is exercised provide the foundation for understanding human relations (Russell 1960). Although it is difficult to give both a parsimonious and a complete definition of power (Fiske and Berdahl 2007; Lukes 1974), power is often defined as the ability to control resources, own and others, a definition rooted in theories of dependency and interdependency (Thibaut and Kelly 1959). Because those who possess power depend less on the resources of others than vice versa, the powerful are more easily able to satisfy their own needs and desires. Given this asymmetric interdependence, many models of power typically describe it as an inherently social variable.

Although power emerges from a specific set of social relations, the possession of power has a transformative impact on an individual's psychological state, leading the powerful to roam in a very different psychological space than the powerless (Keltner et al. 2003; Kipnis 1972). An explosion of research has demonstrated that the possession of power has metamorphic effects on the mental states of individuals and can lead to both positive and negative consequences.

References
Anderson, C. and Berdahl, J. L. (2002) The experience of power: Examining the effects of power on approach and inhibition tendencies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1362–1377.
Anderson, C. and Galinsky, A. D. (2006) Power, optimism, and risk-taking. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 511–536.
Anderson, C., John, O. P., Keltner, D., and Kring, A. M. (2001) Who attains social status? Effects of personality and physical attractiveness in social groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 116–132.
Anderson, C., Keltner, D., and John, O. P. (2000) Emotional convergence between people over time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1054–1068.
Arendt, H. (1969) On violence, New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace & World.
Aristotle, (1996) The politics and the constitution of Athens, trans. Everson, S., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bargh, J. A., Raymond, P., Pryor, J. B., and Strack, F. (1995) Attractiveness of the underling: An automatic power → sex association and its consequences for sexual harassment and aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 768–781.
Brewer, M. B., and Gardner, W. (1996) Who is this we? Levels of collective identity and self representations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 83–93.
Camerer, C. and Thaler, R. H. (1995) Anomalies: Ultimatums, dictators and manners. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9, 209–219.
Carver, C. S. and White, T. L. (1994) Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: The BIS/BAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67 (2), 319–333.
Cast, A. D. (2003) Power and the ability to define the situation. Social Psychology Quarterly, 66, 185–201.
Chen, S., Lee-Chai, A. Y., and Bargh, J. A. (2001) Relationship orientation as moderator of the effects of social power. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 183–187.
Cousins, S. D. (1989) Culture and self-perception in Japan and the United States. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 124–131.
Fiske, S. T. and Berdahl, J. L. (2007) Social power. In Kruglanski, A. and Higgins, E. T. (Eds.), Social psychology: A handbook of basic principles (pp. 678–692), New York, N.Y.: Guilford Press.
French, J. R. P. and Raven, B. H. (1959) The bases of social power. In Cartwright, D. (Ed.), Studies in social power (pp. 118–149), Ann Arbor, Mich.: Institute of Social Research.
Galinsky, A. D., Gruenfeld, D. H., and Magee, J. C. (2003) From power to action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 453–466.
Galinsky, A. D., Magee, J. C., Gruenfeld, D. H, Whitson, J., and Liljenquist, K. A. (2007) Power and immunity to constraint on cognition: Implications for creativity, conformity, and dissonance. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Galinsky, A. D., Magee, J. C., Inesi, M. E., and Gruenfeld, D. H. (2006) Power and perspectives not taken. Psychological Science, 17, 1068–1074.
Giddens, A. (1968) Power in the recent writing of Talcott Parsons. Sociology, 2, 257–272.
Goodwin, S. A., Gubin, A., Fiske, S. T., and Yzerbyt, V. Y. (2000) Power can bias impression processes: Stereotyping subordinates by default and by design. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 3, 227–256.
Gruenfeld, D. H, Inesi, M. E., Magee, J. C., and Galinsky, A. D. (2008) Power and the objectification of social targets. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 111–27.
Guinote, A. (2007) Power and goal pursuit. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1076–1087.
Hindess, B. (1996) Discourses of power, From Hobbes to Foucault, New York, N.Y.: Blackwell.
Hobbes, T. (1998) Leviathan, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1651.)
Hofstede, G. (1979) Hierarchical power distance in forty countries. In Lammers, C. J. and Hickson, D. J. (Eds.), Organizations alike and unlike: Towards a comparative sociology of organizations (pp. 97–119), London, Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Keltner, D., Gruenfeld, D. H., and Anderson, C. (2003) Power, approach and inhibition. Psychological Review, 110 (2), 265–284.
Kipnis, D. (1972) Does power corrupt? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24, 33–41.
Lammers, J., Galinsky, A. D., Gordijn, E. H., and Otten, S. (2007) Power and cooperation: The moderating effect of legitimacy. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Lammers, J., Galinsky, A. D., Gordijn, E. H., and Otten, S. (2008) Legitimacy moderates the effects of power on approach. Psychological Science, 19, 558–564.
Lenski, G. E. (1966) Power and privilege: A theory of social stratification, New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill.
Lukes, S. (1974) Power, A radical view, London: Macmillan.
Magee, J. C., Galinsky, A. D., and Gruenfeld, D. H. (2007) Power, propensity to negotiate, and moving first in competitive interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 200–212.
Maner, J. K., Gailliot, M. T., Butz, D., and Peruche, B. M. (2007) Power, risk, and the status quo: Does power promote riskier or more conservative decision-making? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 451–462.
Markus, H. R. and Kitayama, S. (1991) Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224–253.
McAllister, D. J. (1995) Affect- and cognition-based trust as foundations for interpersonal cooperation in organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 24–59.
Mills, C. W. (1956) The power elite, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nietzsche, F. (1966) Beyond good and evil, trans. Kaufmann, W., New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books. (Original work published 1886.)
Nietzsche, F. (1968) The will to power, trans. Kaufmann, W., New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books. (Original work published 1901.)
Overbeck, J. R. and Park, B. (2001) When power does not corrupt: Superior individuation processes among powerful perceivers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 549–565.
Overbeck, J. R., and Park, B. (2006) Powerful perceivers, powerless objects: Flexibility of power-holders' social attention. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 227–243.
Parsons, T. (1967) Sociological theory and modern society, New York, N.Y.: Free Press.
Plato, (1998) The Republic, trans. Waterfield, R., Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rousseau, J. J. (1997) The social contract, and the first and second discourses, trans. Gourevitch, V., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1762.)
Russell, B. (1960) Power, a new social analysis, London: Allen & Unwin. (Original work published 1938.)
Simon, H. A. (1957) Models of man, New York, N.Y.: Wiley.
Smith, K. G., Carroll, S. J., and Ashford, S. J. (1995) Intra- and interorganizational cooperation: Toward a research agenda. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 7–23.
Smith, P. K. and Bargh, J. A. (2008) Nonconscious effects of power on basic approach and avoidance tendencies. Social Cognition, 26, 1–24.
Smith, P. K. and Trope, Y. (2006) You focus on the forest when you're in charge of the trees: Power priming and abstract information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90 (4), 578–96.
Snodgrass, S. E. (1992) Further effects of role versus gender on interpersonal sensitivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62 (1), 154–158.
Thibaut, J. W. and Kelley, H. H. (1959) The social psychology of groups, New York, N.Y.: Wiley.
Tjosvold, D. and Okun, M. (1979) Effects of unequal power on cooperation in conflict. Psychological Reports, 44, 239–242.
Dijk, E. and Vermunt, R. (2000) Strategy and fairness in social decision making: Sometimes it pays to be powerless. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 1–25.
Kleef, G. A., Dreu, C. K. W., Pietroni, D., and Manstead, A. S. R. (2006) Power and emotion in negotiation: Power moderates the interpersonal effects of anger and happiness on concession making. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 557–581.
Knippenberg, B., Knippenberg, D., and Wilke, H. A. (2001) Power use in cooperative and competitive settings. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 23, 291–300.
Weber, M. (1947) The theory of social and economic organization, trans. Henderson, A. M. and Parsons, T., New York, N.Y.:Oxford University Press.
Zhong, C., Magee, J. C., Maddux, W. W., and Galinsky, A. D. (2006) Power, culture, and (in)action: Considerations in the expression and enactment of power in East Asian and Western society. In Chen, Y. (Ed.), Research on managing groups and teams: National culture and groups (pp. 53–73), Greenwich, Conn.: Elsevier Science Press.