Power Corrupts, but Control Does Not: What Stands Behind the Effects of Holding High Positions

Aleksandra Cisłak-Wójcik , Aleksandra Cichocka , Adrian Wójcik , Natalia Frankowska


People seek high positions not to gain influence over others but to satisfy their need for personal control. Personal control tends to have positive interpersonal consequences. If this is the case, does power indeed corrupt? We argue that holding a high position is associated both with perceptions of power (influence over others) and personal control (influence over one’s life). Three studies showed that these two aspects might have opposite consequences: Power over others positively predicted aggressiveness (Study 1, N = 793) and exploitativeness (Study 2, N = 445), whereas personal control predicted these outcomes negatively. In Study 3 (N = 557), conducted among employees at various organizational positions, the effects of holding a high position on exploitativeness and aggressiveness were differentially mediated by power over others and personal control. We discuss these findings in light of contradicting evidence on the corruptive effects of power.
Author Aleksandra Cisłak-Wójcik
Aleksandra Cisłak-Wójcik,,
, Aleksandra Cichocka
Aleksandra Cichocka,,
, Adrian Wójcik
Adrian Wójcik,,
, Natalia Frankowska (Wydział Psychologii)
Natalia Frankowska,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, ISSN 0146-1672, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.65
Keywords in Englishsocial power, personal control, aggression, exploitativeness, antisocial tendencies
ASJC Classification3207 Social Psychology
URL https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167218757456 <p>
Languageen angielski
10.1177_0146167218757456.pdf 733.46 KB
Additional file
Oświadczenie_publ_1.pdf 82.47 KB
Formatka_afiliacje_PSPB_NF.docx 21.69 KB
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.666; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.498 (2) - 2017=3.67 (5)
Citation count*17 (2021-01-24)
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