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The role of the self-concept and social context in determining the behavior of power-holders: Self-construal in intergroup vs. dyadic dispute resolution negotiations, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Abstract

In this work, the authors explored how a person's view of himself or herself might determine his or her use of power in a complex dispute resolution negotiation. In 3 studies of asymmetric power in negotiations, the authors demonstrated that the impact of power on motivation and behavior is moderated by both a person's self-view and the social context. In Study 1, the results revealed that in a one-on-one dispute, powerful individuals primed to hold an interdependent (as opposed to independent) selfconstrual are more generous in resolving their disputes with low-powered opponents. Study 2 replicated this finding but revealed a different pattern in intergroup disputes, in which powerful interdependent teams of negotiators are actually less generous than are independent teams. Study 3 provided a conceptual replication of Study 2, with the use of chronic measures of self-construal and self-reported measures of behavior. Results suggest that an interdependent self-construal may lead to a more benevolent use of power in dyadic conflicts but more exploitive uses of power in intergroup conflicts. Implications for the understanding of power and self-construal are discussed.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Elizabeth Seeley, Wendi Gardner, Leigh Thompson

Date Published

2007

Citations

Seeley, Elizabeth, Wendi Gardner, and Leigh Thompson. 2007. The role of the self-concept and social context in determining the behavior of power-holders: Self-construal in intergroup vs. dyadic dispute resolution negotiations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 93(4): 614-631.

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