Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

Einfluss sozialer Macht auf Emotionen : unter Berücksichtigung von Situation, Geschlecht und Legitimität

Bachmann, Manuel David ; Schmid Mast, Marianne (Dir.)

Thèse de doctorat : Université de Neuchâtel, 2011 ; 2225.

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    In four experimental laboratory studies I investigated how people in high and low power positions experience and express emotions. Power was either manipulated through priming, role-play techniques, or assessments. Emotions were measured with self-report questionnaires. In Study 1, participants (N = 83) in either high or low power position received feedback from a virtual interaction partner in a work context. In this study the impact of social power on emotions was different for men and women. Women in a low power position who interacted with a dominant partner were happier than men in low power positions. Furthermore, men in low power positions felt less anger than women in these positions. In Study 2, participants ( N = 144) in either low or high power positions gave feedback to a male or female interaction partner. Results showed that participants in high power positions were angrier but also prouder than participants in low power positions. In Study 3 ( N = 117), a third, neutral power position was introduced and tested. Differences in relation with social power were observed in anger, where men in neutral power positions were angrier than women in neutral power positions. Studies 1 to 3 used virtual reality environments. Overall, results from the first three studies indicate that the impact of social power on happiness and anger was moderated by gender. In study 4 ( N = 78), two participants were tested in dyads and the legitimacy of social power was also manipulated. Results showed that people in high power positions expressed and experienced more fear than those in low power positions. Overall the results of all four studies lead to the following three conclusions: a) the impact of social power on emotions depends on participant’s gender, b) the differentiation between positive and negative emotions is insufficient in the context of social power and emotions, and c) the impact of social power on emotions is influenced by additional situational factors.