Joshi, P.D. and Fast, N.J. (2013). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 898-910.
Research indicates that power liberates the self, but findings also show that the powerful are susceptible to situational influences. The present article examines whether enacting roles that afford power leads people to identify with the roles or, instead, liberates them from role expectations altogether. The results of three experiments support the hypothesis that power enhances role identification. Experiment 1 showed that enacting a particular role resulted in greater implicit and explicit role identification when the role contained power. In Experiment 2, infusing a role with power resulted in greater role identification and role-congruent behavior. Experiment 3 demonstrated that power resulted in greater role-congruent self-construal, such that having power in a close relationship caused participants to define themselves relationally, whereas having power in a group situation caused participants to embrace a collective self-construal. Implications for research on power, roles, and the self are discussed.Read More