心理科学进展, 2019, 27(3): 447-452 doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00447

研究简报

权力对延迟选择的影响

李晓明,1,2, 蒋松源1,2

1 湖南师范大学认知与人类行为湖南省重点实验室

2 湖南师范大学心理系, 长沙 410081

The influence of power on choice deferral

LI Xiao-Ming,1,2, JIANG Song-Yuan1,2

1 Cognition and Human Behavior Key Laboratory of Hunan Province

2 Department of Psychology, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China

通讯作者: 李晓明, E-mail: lixiaoming-2007@sohu.com

收稿日期: 2017-12-18   网络出版日期: 2019-03-15

基金资助: 湖南省哲学社会科学基金资助.  13YBA220

Received: 2017-12-18   Online: 2019-03-15

摘要

本研究旨在考察权力对延迟选择的影响, 并探讨决策难度在其中的调节作用以及决策过程的中介作用。两个实验均先操纵个体的权力状态, 然后再请被试完成随后的延迟选择任务。结果发现, 决策难度可调节权力对延迟选择的影响, 当决策困难时, 高权力者具有更低的延迟倾向, 当决策容易时, 权力的影响消失。决策过程的加工变异性可中介权力对延迟选择的影响。结果表明, 低权力者比高权力者具有更高的延迟倾向(尤其当决策困难时), 不同权力水平者在决策过程上的差异或可部分解释此种现象。

关键词: 权力 ; 延迟选择 ; 决策难度 ; 决策过程 ; MouselabWEB程序

Abstract

The present study aimed at exploring the role of power in choice deferral (a subcategory of decision avoidance) by studying the moderating role of choice difficulty (Experiment 1) and the mediating role of decision process (Experiment 2). The results showed that choice difficulty can moderate the effect of power on choice deferral, when there is not a dominating option in the choice options, preference for deferral is more pronounced for powerless individuals than for powerful individuals. Additionally, the variance in the proportion of time spent on each attribute mediated the effect of power on choice deferral. The results indicated that lower power can lead to more choice of deferral options (especially in difficult decisions), and decision processing may play an important role in the effect of power on choice deferral.

Keywords: power ; choice deferral ; choice difficulty ; decision process ; MouselabWeb procedure

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本文引用格式

李晓明, 蒋松源. (2019). 权力对延迟选择的影响. 心理科学进展, 27(3), 447-452

LI Xiao-Ming, JIANG Song-Yuan. (2019). The influence of power on choice deferral. Advances in Psychological Science, 27(3), 447-452

1 引言

1.1 权力及其对决策的影响

权力指个体在社会关系中控制有价值资源和结果的相对能力(Magee & Galinsky, 2008)。以往研究发现, 作为标定组织和社会关系的基础属性, 权力也是一种重要的心理属性, 这使得权力如何影响个体的认知、情绪和行为等问题备受国内外研究者的关注(e.g., 钟毅平, 陈潇, 颜小聪, 2013; Galinsky, Gruenfeld, & Magee, 2003; Lammers, Dubois, Rucker, & Galinsky, 2013)。目前研究者非常注重将权力纳入到决策研究中。例如, 相比于低权力者, 高权力者更愿意冒险(管延华, 迟毓凯, 戴金浩, 2014), 具有更强的过度自信倾向(Fast, Sivanathan, Mayer, & Galinsky, 2012), 在跨期选择中更偏好远期更优选项(Joshi & Fast, 2013), 具有更高的决策质量(Smith, Dijksterhuis, & Wigboldus, 2008)。另外, 权力也可影响决策者在决策时所关注的目标及消费取向(Rucker, Galinsky, & Dubois, 2012)。上述研究虽探讨了权力对决策的影响, 但还不足以全面展现出权力与不同决策行为的关系。

1.2 延迟选择

决策研究集中于探讨个体如何做决策, 但通常会忽视决策中的一种特殊却很普遍的现象——延迟选择。延迟选择指个体暂且决定不在当前选项中做出选择, 如推迟选择(Anderson, 2003)。以往研究发现, 决策策略(Dhar, 1996; Dhar & Nowlis, 1999)、决策冲突(Tversky & Shafir, 1992)和信息呈现方式(Lange & Krahé, 2014)等均可影响延迟选择。Anderson (2003)曾将诸多可影响延迟选择的变量归纳为一个共同因素——决策难度, 即当难以决定时, 个体会更倾向于延迟选择。除此之外, 研究者也发现情绪及决策的重要性可影响延迟选择(李晓明, 谢佳, 2012; Krijnen, Zeelenberg, & Breugelmans, 2015)。

1.3 问题提出及假设

权力的接近/抑制理论提出权力会影响个体的接近/抑制系统, 从而使低权力者具有更强的回避倾向(Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003), 高权力者则更倾向于采取行动(Galinsky et al., 2003)。上述结果揭示出高权力者会比低权力者具有更强的行动倾向, 并表现出更少的回避行为, 但以往研究却并未在决策领域中直接检验权力对决策回避行为的影响。决策回避行为是指个体通过推迟决策或寻找一个无需行动或改变的方式来逃避选择的行为(Anderson, 2003)。本研究拟在前人研究的基础上, 将权力引入到一种经典的决策回避行为中——延迟选择领域, 探讨权力对延迟选择的影响。本研究包括两个实验, 分别从决策结果和决策过程两个角度考察权力对延迟选择的影响及影响机制; 实验1通过选项间的相对吸引力来客观操纵决策难度, 以探讨在不同决策难度下权力对延迟选择的影响; 实验2通过采用MouselabWEB决策过程追踪程序检测个体的决策过程, 考察决策过程在权力对延迟选择影响中的作用。

以往研究认为, 决策难度是影响延迟选择的重要情景因素, 诸如选项间的吸引力差异、决策策略、选项集大小以及冲突类型等均可影响决策难度, 进而影响延迟选择(Anderson, 2003)。以往研究也发现高权力者会比低权力者更不易受情景因素的影响(Galinsky, Magee, Gruenfeld, Whitson, & Liljenquist, 2008)。具体而言, 由于高权力者更擅于应对困难的决策情景(Smith et al., 2008), 而低权力者却因其受损的执行功能更易受复杂情景的干扰。所以很可能当决策任务困难时, 低权力者会更易于受外部决策情景的影响, 进而更倾向于延迟选择, 但当决策容易时, 无论高权力者或低权力者都会易于应对, 此时权力对延迟选择的影响力将降低。由此本研究提出问题1:决策难度是否会调节权力对延迟选择的影响?并提出假设1:虽然整体上低权力者会比高权力者具有更强的延迟选择倾向, 但这种差异主要出现在高决策难度条件下。

以往研究普遍认同, 权力会影响个体的信息加工过程。例如, 相比于低权力者, 高权力者会更倾向于采用消耗较少认知资源的、启发式的认知方式(e.g., Keltner et al., 2003)。权力的社会距离理论也曾提出权力体验所导致的心理距离的增加可诱发抽象思维(Magee & Smith, 2013), 相关研究表明高权力者会更倾向于采用抽象性思维方式, 即更擅于把握关键信息, 而较少关注细节、次要信息(Smith & Trope, 2006; Miyamoto & Ji, 2011)。而延迟选择领域的研究也发现个体的加工方式可影响其延迟选择行为, 当个体主要采用快速的非补偿性策略时(只基于一些关键维度做决策, 即维度间的值不能互相补偿, 不必在不同特性间进行权衡的策略), 决策难度体验会降低, 从而使个体更倾向于即刻选择, 而不延迟(Dhar, 1996), 并且加工变异性及加工深度等体现决策策略补偿/非补偿的指标在时间压力及情绪对延迟选择的影响中具有中介作用(李晓明, 谢佳, 2012; Dhar & Nowlis, 1999)。通过上述分析, 本研究进一步提出问题2:权力是否会通过改变个体的决策过程而影响其延迟选择倾向?本研究提出假设2:权力可能会通过改变个体的决策过程而影响其延迟选择行为; 相比于高权力者, 低权力者在决策过程中会更倾向于采取系统深入的补偿性决策策略(需要综合考虑各决策维度, 即不同维度间可以互相补偿, 需要更多地进行特性间权衡的策略), 会体验到更高的决策难度, 从而导致低权力者具有更强的延迟选择倾向; 个体的决策过程在权力对延迟选择的影响中具有一定的中介作用。

2 实验1:权力对延迟选择的影响——决策难度的调节作用

2.1 研究方法

2.1.1 研究对象

124名大学本科生参加了本实验, 去掉4个漏答、乱答的无效数据, 有效数据120份, 其中男生54名, 女生66名, 平均年龄18.72岁(SD = 0.98)。

2.1.2 实验设计

本实验采用2(权力:高、低) × 2(决策难度:高、低)的两因素被试间实验设计, 每种条件下30名被试。因变量为个体的延迟选择情况。

2.1.3 实验材料和工具

(1) 权力启动材料

实验1采用回忆任务操纵个体的权力状态(Galinsky et al., 2003)。高(低)权力组的被试被要求回忆并写下如下经历:请从你以往的亲身经历当中, 回忆一件你(他人)有权力指使、控制或评价他人, 而对方(你)只能默默接受和忍受的事情。被试在根据要求完成回忆任务后, 需对“我在此回忆过程中体验到多大的权力感?”在9点量表上回答, 其中1为一点也不强烈, 9为非常强烈。

(2) 决策任务

本实验采用一个租房决策情境, 通过纸笔测试的方式实施。实验材料改编自Tversky和Shafir (1992)的实验材料, 包括两个可选项及1个延迟选项(即暂不从中选择, 继续寻找其他房子)。实验1将通过选项间的吸引力差异来操纵决策难度(Tversky & Shafir, 1992)。在低难度下, 两个可选项为“租金900元/月, 到上班地点需花费15分钟。”和“租金600元/月, 到上班地点需花费20分钟。”此时两个选项的吸引力差异大, 被试易于做出选择。在高难度下, 两个可选项为“租金900元/月, 到上班地点需花费15分钟。”和“租金700元/月, 到上班地点需花费35分钟。”此时两个选项的相对吸引力差异小, 被试会难以取舍, 意味着更高的决策难度。为了检测实验1对决策难度的操纵是否适当。实验前预先分别选取20名被试同时对不同条件下的两个选项的吸引力进行评价(请用数字1~9表示每一套房子对您的吸引力程度, 其中1表示一点也没有吸引力, 9表示非常有吸引力)。结果发现, 高难度下可选项间的吸引力差异不显著, t(19) = 0.09, p = 0.926; 低难度下可选项间的吸引力具有显著差异, t(19) = 2.68, p = 0.015, d = 0.54。预试表明, 本实验对不同难度下两选项的吸引力设置是合理的。

2.2 实验结果

2.2.1 权力操纵检测

独立样本t表明, 权力操纵对被试的权力体验具有显著影响, t (106.31) = 12.94, p < 0.001, d = 2.56, M = 6.60, SD = 2.13, M = 2.23, SD = 1.51, 该结果表明回忆法有效地启动了被试不同的权力感。

2.2.3 权力和决策难度对延迟选择的影响

表1是被试在不同条件下的延迟选择情况。本研究对被试的延迟选择情况进行了2(权力状态:高、低) × 2(决策难度:高、低)的logisitic回归分析。其中当个体选择其他选项, 则编码为0, 选择延迟选项时, 编码为1。结果表明, 权力的主效应显著, c2(1) = 5.77, p = 0.016, φ = 0.22, 低权力者比高权力者更倾向于延迟选择。决策难度的主效应显著, c2(1) = 5.69, p = 0.017, φ = 0.21; 权力状态和决策难度具有显著交互作用, c2(1) = 4.07, p = 0.044, φ = 0.18。当决策困难时, 权力对延迟选择具有显著影响, c2(1) = 7.20, p = 0.007, φ = 0.35, 当决策容易时, 权力对延迟选择无显著影响, c2(1) = 0.13, p = 0.718。

表1   延迟选择选项的人数(百分比)

决策难度 权力状态
高权力 低权力
高难度 3 (10%) 12 (40 %)
低难度 5 (16.67%) 4 (13.33%)

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3 实验2:权力对延迟选择的影响机制——基于决策过程的探讨

实验1的结果初步验证了假设1。实验2进一步通过角色扮演法操纵个体的权力状态, 并利用MouselabWEB技术探测个体的决策过程, 以考察权力对延迟选择的影响机制。因以往研究认为权力可能会影响个体的情绪体验(Keltner et al., 2003), 且情绪体验可能会影响个体的决策过程及延迟选择(李晓明, 谢佳, 2012), 实验2还将测查个体在决策过程中的情绪体验, 以排除情绪的影响。

3.1 研究方法

3.1.1 研究对象

72名大学本科生参加了本实验, 其中男生34名, 女生38名, 平均年龄18.99岁(SD = 0.86)。所有被试视力或矫正视力正常, 均具有操作电脑鼠标和键盘的基本能力。

3.1.2 实验设计及变量

本实验为单因素的被试间实验设计, 自变量为权力状态, 包括高权力和低权力两个水平, 因变量为对延迟选项的选择情况。本研究还通过MouselabWEB技术测查了衡量决策过程的诸多指标以作为潜在的中介变量, 这包括加工总时间(个体加工各信息单元所用的总时间)、加工深度(加工深度 = 检查的总信息单元数/所有单元数)、加工模式【加工模式 = (基于选项的转换量-基于特性的转换量)/(基于选项的转换量+基于特性的转换量)】和加工变异性(决策者在各属性上所用搜索时间的比例的标准差)。基于选项的转换指随后加工的信息与前次信息属于同一选项, 基于特性的转换是指随后加工的信息与前次信息属于同一特性, 其中加工模式的数值为正时, 表明基于选项的加工占优。其中搜索模式的数值为正时, 表明基于选项的加工占优。从具体的决策过程指标上可以推测出个体在决策过程所采用的决策策略, 通常更少的决策时间、更浅的加工深度、基于特性的加工及加工变异性大时, 说明被试更多地采取了非补偿性策略, 反之则说明被试更多地采取了补偿性策略(Dhar & Nowlis, 1999)。

3.1.3 实验材料和工具

(1) 权力启动材料

本实验通过角色扮演的方式启动被试的权力状态, 实验中会要求被试设想自己是一家上市公司的领导(高权力)或普通员工(低权力), 并体会他身处这一角色时的想法、感觉和行为(Galinsky et al., 2003)。在高权力条件下, 被试会设想假如“您是一家上市公司的高层领导, 您的工作是领导下属完成公司项目。您将决定整个任务的分配、并制定下属的考核标准......总之, 作为高层领导, 您拥有绝对权力去指挥、管理和评估下属, 并决定他们的奖金分配。”低权力条件下的启动材料为“你是一家小型公司的普通员工, 作为员工你必须听从上级命令, 在他的指挥下完成公司项目。领导将给你分配任务, 并制定你的考核标准......总之, 作为普通员工, 你只能接受领导的指挥、管理和评估, 并无法对奖金分配提出异议。”

(2) 决策任务

决策任务参照Rassin, Muris, Booster和Kolsloot (2008)的选择任务设计, 自编多属性选课任务, 选课任务包含5个备选项(课程A~课程E)以及一个延迟选项。每门课程包含6个特性, 开课时间、教学质量、课程通过率、专业相关性、需要的努力、同学的建议。通过MouselabWEB信息板呈现实验材料, 实验开始时, 所有的信息单元都是隐藏的, 只有在被试将鼠标移动至需要了解的单元上时, 该信息单元才会开放信息。被试的指导语为“假定这学期您需要选择一门课程, 现在有5门备选课程A-E, 行代表课程名称, 列代表课程的不同属性, 每门课有6个特性, 每个属性包含有5个不同的程度, 分别是非常差、较差、一般、较好、非常好, 其中非常好表示这个因素最接近您的理想状态, 您可以从5门课程中选择一门理想的课程, 或者暂不作出选择, 继续寻找其他课程, 那么您会如何进行选择?”

(3) 实验程序

所有操作都在电脑上进行。在正式实验前, 设置决策练习任务环节, 确保被试熟悉MouselabWEB程序后开始正式实验。实验采用个别施测, 正式实验程序如下:1)被试阅读权力启动材料, 并感受相关角色以唤醒被试不同的权力状态, 随后完成权力操纵检测题目(让被试对“我在此情景中体验到多大的权力感?”在9点量表上回答, 其中1为一点也不强烈, 9为非常强烈); 2)在计算机上通过MouselabWEB程序呈现任务情景, 请被试在搜索相关决策信息的基础上做出选择; 3)完成测查个体在决策过程所感受到的决策难度(问题与实验1类似)和情绪体验(请被试对“您在决策过程中的情绪体验如何?”在9点量表上回答, 其中1为一点也不高兴, 9为非常高兴)的2个后测题目。与实验1类似, 实验2同样会通过指导语让被试认为权力启动任务和决策任务是相互独立的。整个实验大约持续7分钟左右, 测试后访谈表明被试均未知晓真实实验目的, 在实验后送给每位被试一份小礼物作为报酬。

3.2 实验结果

3.2.1 权力操纵检测

独立样本t检验表明, 权力启动操纵对权力唤醒自评效果影响显著, t(70) = 10.09, p < 0.001, d = 2.41, M = 6.23, SD = 1.47, M = 2.76, SD = 1.42。这一结果说明本实验成功启动了被试的权力感。

3.2.2 权力对延迟选择的影响

结果发现, 高权力下有8.57% (3/35)被试选择了延迟, 低权力下有37.84% (14/37)的被试选择了延迟。进一步的c2检验表明, 权力对延迟选择具有显著影响, c2 (1) = 8.54, p = 0.003, φ = 0.73, 低权力者比高权力者更倾向于延迟选择。

3.2.3 权力对决策过程及决策体验的影响

独立样本t检验表明, 权力对被试的决策过程和决策难度体验均有显著影响, 即与高权力者相比, 低权力者的总搜索时间更长, 会搜索更多的信息, 更多地进行基于选项的加工, 加工变异性更小, 体验到更高的决策难度(见表2)。但权力对情绪体验无显著影响。

表2   不同权力启动下决策过程和决策体验各指标的差异比较(M ± SD)

各测量指标 高权力 低权力 t p d
加工总
时间(s)
26.20 ± 14.91 38.81 ± 18.41 3.18 0.002 0.76
加工深度 0.66 ± 0.21 0.86 ± 0.16 4.50 0.000 1.08
加工模式 -0.03 ± 0.37 0.21 ± 0.35 2.88 0.005 0.69
加工变异性 0.15 ± 0.10 0.09 ± 0.05 3.17 0.002 0.76
困难指数 5.06 ± 1.49 5.92 ± 1.44 2.49 0.015 0.60
愉悦度 5.20 ± 0.96 5.40 ± 1.40 0.72 0.474 --

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3.2.4 决策过程的中介作用

参考Preacher和Hayes (2008)进行Bootstrap分析(用5000个bootstrap)发现, 将加工变异性放在中介变量位置时, 模型95%的置信区间为[0.029, 3.651], 不包含0, 说明加工变异性在权力对延迟选择的影响中起中介作用; 将加工总时间、加工深度和加工模式纳入中介模型时, 模型95%的置信区间包含0, 说明这三个指标不足以中介权力对延迟选择的影响。

4 讨论

本研究旨在探讨不同决策难度下权力是否会影响个体的延迟选择倾向?以及决策过程是否会中介权力对延迟选择的影响?实验1发现, 权力对延迟选择具有显著影响; 决策难度可调节这一影响; 当决策容易时, 权力对延迟选择无显著影响, 当决策困难时, 高权力者比低权力者具有更低的延迟选择倾向。实验2发现, 与高权力者相比, 低权力者会对信息进行缓慢、全面、变异性小、基于选项占主导的加工, 即更倾向于采取补偿性策略来收集信息, 也会认为当前的决策更加困难, 并具有更高的延迟倾向。中介分析发现, 加工变异性在权力对延迟选择的影响中起中介作用, 假设1和2基本得到验证。

本研究从权力的角度出发探讨了延迟选择的产生原因, 加深了人们对延迟选择产生机制的理解, 同时也在决策回避行为领域中为权力的接近/抑制理论提供了新的证据。另外, 本研究在决策领域中验证了Keltner等(2003)关于不同权力水平者的信息加工方式的预测, 具有重要的理论意义。本研究同时也具有重要的实践价值, 例如, 本研究对旨在降低个体消极等待的实践者(如企业营销人员)而言具有重要参考价值, 即营造消费者的高权力感或将有助于促进其积极消费, 或者通过引导低权力群体采用简洁的非补偿性策略进行决策或许也会有助其积极决策。

本研究在一些方面也存在着不足。例如, 本实验在实验情景的选择上仅局限于一些日常的生活决策, 未来可运用更广泛的决策情景(如组织决策、医疗决策、公众决策等)来检验有关结果。除了该决策情景变量外, 未来也可考虑引入其他一些可能会调节权力对决策行为影响的个体或情景因素, 如个体在权力相关领域的能力感(Fast et al., 2012)、权力的稳定性及权力动机(Hiemer & Abele, 2012)以及个体的特质焦虑(Maner, Gailliot, Menzel & Kunstman, 2012)等。其次, 本研究主要是在实验室中操纵了个体的权力状态, 未来研究可考虑在接近现实的模拟情景中操纵个体的权力状态或探讨个体的权力特质是否会对延迟选择产生影响。最后, 未来研究可以考虑将相关研究思路扩展到其他决策回避行为中, 如不作为惯性及维持现状偏差中。

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Five experiments demonstrate that experiencing power leads to overconfident decision-making. Using multiple instantiations of power, including an episodic recall task (Experiments 1 3), a measure of work-related power (Experiment 4), and assignment to high- and low-power roles (Experiment 5), power produced overconfident decisions that generated monetary losses for the powerful. The current findings, through both mediation and moderation, also highlight the central role that the sense of power plays in producing these decision-making tendencies. First, sense of power, but not mood, mediated the link between power and overconfidence (Experiment 3). Second, the link between power and overconfidence was severed when access to power was not salient to the powerful (Experiment 4) and when the powerful were made to feel personally incompetent in their domain of power (Experiment 5). These findings indicate that only when objective power leads people to feel subjectively powerful does it produce overconfident decision-making.

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Although power is often conceptualized as the capacity to influence others, the current research explores whether power psychologically protects people from influence. In contrast to classic social psychological research demonstrating the strength of the situation in directing attitudes, expressions, and intentions, 5 experiments (using experiential primes, semantic primes, and role manipulations of power) demonstrate that the powerful (a) generate creative ideas that are less influenced by salient examples, (b) express attitudes that conform less to the expressed opinions of others, (c) are more influenced by their own social value orientation relative to the reputation of a negotiating opponent, and (d) perceive greater choice in making counterattitudinal statements. This last experiment illustrates that power is not always psychologically liberating; it can create internal conflict, arousing dissonance, and thereby lead to attitude change. Across the experiments, high-power participants were immune to the typical press of situations, with intrapsychic processes having greater sway than situational or interpersonal ones on their creative and attitudinal expressions.

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Decision makers generally feel disconnected from their future selves, an experience that leads them to prefer smaller immediate gains to larger future gains. This pervasive tendency is known as temporal discounting, and researchers across disciplines are interested in understanding how to overcome it. Following recent advances in the power literature, we suggest that the experience of power enhances one's connection with the future self, which in turn results in reduced temporal discounting. In Study 1, we found that participants assigned to high-power roles were less likely than participants assigned to low-power roles to display temporal discounting. In Studies 2 and 3, priming power reduced temporal discounting in monetary and nonmonetary tasks, and, further, connection with the future self mediated the relation between power and reduced discounting. In Study 4, experiencing a general sense of power in the workplace predicted actual lifetime savings. These results have important implications for future research.

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Three studies examined the effect of information form on choice deferral in consumer choice and explored the moderating role of knowledge about the product domain. Two theoretical approaches were contrasted: (1) The process approach predicting that choice deferral varies as a function of information form, and (2) the communication approach predicting an interaction of information form and domain-specific knowledge. Participants were presented with different laptops described in an absolute (e.g. ‘300GB hard disc’), evaluative-numerical (e.g. ‘hard disc with 30 out of 100 points in an expert rating’) or evaluative-verbal (e.g. ‘bad hard disc’) information form, and they could choose to buy one of the laptops or defer. Domain-specific knowledge was also assessed. In Study 1, evaluative-numerical and evaluative-verbal values led to more deferral in people with high domain-specific knowledge. The pattern for evaluative-numerical and evaluative-verbal values was replicated for a different information organization in Study 2. Study 3 showed that absolute values led to more deferral the less knowledgeable participants were and demonstrated that domain-specific knowledge and deferral were unrelated when absolute and evaluative-verbal values were presented in combination. In sum, the results support the communication approach and have methodological implications for decision research and theoretical implications for understanding choice deferral in real-life decisions.

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A growing body of research demonstrates that power promotes a fundamental orientation toward approach and agency. The current studies suggest that this tendency is moderated by dispositional anxiety. In two experiments, high levels of dispositional anxiety blocked the psychological effects of power. Although people low in anxiety responded to a power prime with greater willingness to take risks, those high in anxiety did not (Experiment 1). Similarly, whereas those low in social anxiety responded to power with increased sexual attraction toward a confederate, individuals high in social anxiety failed to show the same effect (Experiment 2). In both studies, the interaction between power and anxiety was statistically mediated by perceptions of reward. Although power enhanced people's perceptions of reward, this effect was eliminated by high levels of dispositional anxiety. This research provides insight into how, and in whom, power promotes approach and agentic behavior.

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The present research tested the hypothesis that power, defined as the capacity to influence others, promotes analytic cognitive processing, by examining the use of linguistic categories and the categorization of objects. Supporting the hypothesis, recalling instances of influencing others facilitated the use of adjectives and discouraged the use of verbs to describe others (Study 1). Recalling instances of influencing others also promoted taxonomic, instead of thematic, categorization (Study 2). Furthermore, the authors also examined the effect of power in a real-life context. They examined whether socioeconomic status (SES) differences in cognitive processing can be partly explained by sense of agency, an antecedent of power (Study 3); high SES individuals made more taxonomic categorization than did low SES individuals, and a sense of agency partially mediated the SES differences in categorization. These findings underscore the role of power in shaping cognitive processes.

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Abstract Hypotheses involving mediation are common in the behavioral sciences. Mediation exists when a predictor affects a dependent variable indirectly through at least one intervening variable, or mediator. Methods to assess mediation involving multiple simultaneous mediators have received little attention in the methodological literature despite a clear need. We provide an overview of simple and multiple mediation and explore three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model. We present an illustrative example, assessing and contrasting potential mediators of the relationship between the helpfulness of socialization agents and job satisfaction. We also provide SAS and SPSS macros, as well as Mplus and LISREL syntax, to facilitate the use of these methods in applications.

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Previous research has indicated that indecisiveness is associated with informational tunnel vision, in that individuals scoring high on a measure of indecisiveness tend to gather more information about the alternative they ultimately choose, while largely neglecting other options. In the first study, a decision making paradigm was employed in which participants had to choose a college course from a set of five options. Findings confirmed that the score on a measure of indecisiveness correlated positively with the amount of information gathered concerning the ultimately chosen course, but not with the gathered information pertaining to non-chosen courses. In the second study, choice difficulty was manipulated by varying the distinctiveness of the courses. Again, indecisiveness seemed to be associated with tunnel vision, regardless of choice difficulty. Hence, the findings support the notion that indecisiveness limits people information gathering. It is proposed that this type of tunnel vision serves as a defence against a natural tendency to gather as much information as possible.

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Power and consumer behavior: How power shapes who and what consumers value

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The current paper reviews the concept of power and offers a new architecture for understanding how power guides and shapes consumer behavior. Specifically, we propose that having and lacking power respectively foster agentic and communal orientations that have a transformative impact on perception, cognition, and behavior. These orientations shape both who and what consumers value. New empirical evidence is presented that synthesizes these findings into a parsimonious account of how power alters consumer behavior as a function of both product attributes and recipients. Finally, we discuss future directions to motivate and guide the study of power by consumer psychologists.

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Powerful people make good decisions even when they consciously think

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The article presents a study to determine whether the powerful are normally under greater attentional demands than the powerless. This study was participated by 81 undergraduate students to examine whether high-power individuals make equally good decisions following conscious versus unconscious thought. It was found that high-power individuals were equally good at identifying the better choice after conscious versus unconscious thought when given problems that require a complex decision. It also concluded that the powerful seem to be able to handle a number of decisions which have great impact without making excessive errors.

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You focus on the forest when you’re in charge of the trees: Power priming and abstract information processing

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90( 4), 578-596.

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Elevated power increases the psychological distance one feels from others, and this distance, according to construal level theory, should lead to more abstract information processing. Thus, high power should be associated with more abstract thinking-focusing on primary aspects of stimuli and detecting patterns and structure to extract the gist, as well as categorizing stimuli at a higher level-relative to low power. In 6 experiments involving both conceptual and perceptual tasks, priming high power led to more abstract processing than did priming low power, even when this led to worse performance. Experiment 7 revealed that in line with past neuropsychological research on abstract thinking, priming high power also led to greater relative right-hemispheric activation.

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Choice often produces conflict. This notion, however, plays no role in classical decision theory, in which each alternative is assigned a value, and the decision maker selects from every choice set the option with the highest value. We contrast this principle of value maximization with the hypothesis that the option to delay choice or seek new alternatives is more likely to be selected when conflict is high than when it is low. This hypothesis is supported by several studies showing that the tendency to defer decision, search for new alternatives, or choose the default option can be in-creased when the offered set is enlarged or improved, contrary to the principle of value maximization.

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