So many of the bad guys in comics and movies are quite powerful but feel angry that they have not been recognised/respected for it. Turns out those stories might be well-grounded in science:
The current research explores how roles that possess power but lack status influence behaviour toward others. Past research has primarily examined the isolated effects of having either power or status, but we propose that power and status interact to affect interpersonal behaviour. Based on the notions that a) low-status is threatening and aversive and b) power frees people to act on their internal states and feelings, we hypothesized that power without status fosters demeaning behaviours toward others. To test this idea, we orthogonally manipulated both power and status and gave participants the chance to select activities for their partners to perform. As predicted, individuals in high-power/low-status roles chose more demeaning activities for their partners (e.g., bark like a dog, say “I am filthy”) than did those in any other combination of power and status roles. We discuss how these results clarify, challenge, and advance the existing power and status literatures.
Source: “The destructive nature of power without status” from Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Read more posts on Barking Up The Wrong Tree »
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.