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The Social Distance Theory of Power.

PAMELA SMITH, UC SAN DIEGO RADY SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGY

I propose that individuals with higher power should view the world in a more high-level, abstract fashion than individuals with lower power (Magee & Smith, 2013). As having power makes individuals less dependent on others (relative to lacking power), it increases the psychological distance one feels from others, and this distance (according to construal level theory) should lead to more abstract information processing. Thus, those with power think in terms of the “big picture,” focusing more on primary, goal-relevant aspects of stimuli and moving beyond the details to see patterns and structure, than those without power. In my talk I will review several studies that demonstrate this effect. Then I will discuss more recent research that has explored the intrapersonal and interpersonal implications of these effects for domains such as perceived power, forgiveness, and executive functioning.

Monday, January 6, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Los Angeles, CA, Haines Hall 352, UCLA

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