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From grumpy to cheerful (and back) : how power impacts mood in and across different contexts?

Leach, S. and Weick, M. (2018) 'From grumpy to cheerful (and back) : how power impacts mood in and across different contexts?', Journal of experimental social psychology., 79 . pp. 107-114.


Although lay intuition and some academic theories suggest that power increases variability in mood, the prevailing view in the literature is that power elevates mood—a view that is not consistently borne out in empirical data. To rectify these discrepancies, we conducted five studies examining the impact of high and low power on mood in, and across, contexts of differing valence (negative vs. neutral vs. positive). Drawing on 19,710 observations from 1,042 participants, we found that high (vs. medium/control) power elevated, and low (vs. medium/control) power dampened, individuals' mood at baseline/in neutral contexts and in positive contexts. However, neither high (vs. medium/control) power nor low (vs. medium/control) power modulated individuals' mood in negative contexts. Overall, high (vs. medium/control) power tended to increase, and low (vs. medium/control) power decreased variability in mood across contexts (the former effect was marginally significant). We discuss how these findings corroborate, but also qualify, lay intuition and social psychological theories of power.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Social power, Mood, Context, Variability.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Publisher statement:© 2018 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:16 May 2018
Date deposited:18 September 2018
Date of first online publication:18 July 2018
Date first made open access:18 January 2020

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