ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (11): 1982-1991.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01982

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 Power Basis Theory: A kind of power corresponding to survival needs

 SUN Hongri1; PRATTO Felicia2   

  1.  (1 School of Education, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330031, China) (2 Department of Psychology, University of Conecticut, Storrs CT06269, US)
  • Received:2016-10-31 Online:2017-11-15 Published:2017-09-25
  • Contact: SUN Hongri, E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:
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Abstract:  Power is the core of social relationships and social actions, and it also corresponds to survival needs and associates with one’s quality of life. Using a psycho–ecological approach, Power Basis Theory defines power as the ability to meet one’s basic survival needs given one’s own capabilities in the context of environmental and affordances. In this unique contribution, Power Basis Theory further identifies six types of power, each of which meets a distinct survival need. The actions and social transations people use to try to meet their needs create social and ecological changes for those in one’s social field. These dynamics may produce greater inequality through power transaction which is fungible rather than exchangeable. Thus, the framework addresses where each type of power comes from pertaining to interpersonal and intergroup levels, and provides processes by which power connects to social inequality. Power Basis Theory provides a new approach for research on the social psychology of power.

Key words: Power Basis Theory, needs, psycho–ecological approach, power dynamic

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