Power Gets You High
Many people like to have or even rely on a figurehead to inspire them into action or for a bit of general life-guidance, from historical leaders to celebrities the choice of inspiration is endless.
But who do people typically get this inspiration from? A new study proposes that powerful people are able to draw inspiration from themselves:
We all know people who get carried away when talking about themselves, whether it be about their personal achievements, their possessions, the countries they have visited, or the books they have read.
With that in mind the researchers devised a way of testing this theory out:
Drawing on theorizing and research on power and self-prioritization, we develop and test the hypothesis that the relative degree of inspiration individuals derive from their own versus others’ experiences depends on their sense of power.
The research team recruited hundreds of participants to complete 4 different experiments that considered things such as how much power participants perceived they had and how their levels of inspiration changed depending on the specific social situation.
Once the team behind the research collated all of the data they were able to show that:
(1) higher power people are more inspired by their own experiences than are lower power people
(2) higher power people are more inspired by their own experiences than by those of others.
In conclusion the study was able to identify that powerful people’s levels of inspiration rose when considering their own uplifting experiences but not when considering other peoples uplifting stories.
Furthermore, for the powerful people, listening to other peoples uplifting stories may have been detrimental:
In fact, listening to another person’s stories may undermine powerful people’s inspiration
In contrast people with less power did not find their own experiences uplifting.