Living large: The powerful overestimate their own height

Michelle M. Duguid, Jack A. Goncalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In three experiments, we tested the prediction that individuals' experience of power influences their perceptions of their own height. High power, relative to low power, was associated with smaller estimates of a pole's height relative to the self (Experiment 1), with larger estimates of one's own height (Experiment 2), and with choice of a taller avatar to represent the self in a second-life game (Experiment 3). These results emerged regardless of whether power was experientially primed (Experiments 1 and 3) or manipulated through assigned roles (Experiment 2). Although a great deal of research has shown that more physically imposing individuals are more likely to acquire power, this work is the first to show that powerful people feel taller than they are. The discussion considers the implications for existing and future research on the physical experience of power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • interpersonal interaction
  • judgment
  • perception
  • social structure
  • spatial perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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