|M.Sc Student||Haneen Matar|
|Subject||The Effect of Power on Judgments of Conflict and Similarity|
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Dr. Shalev Edith|
|Full Thesis text|
The current research investigates the interactive effects of ego power and alter (source) power on the source’s perceptions of two antecedents of influence: perceived similarity to- and experienced conflict with the source. We report four findings from two online experiments using novel power manipulations: (1) the conflict judgments of high power people are more sensitive to alter-power than are those of low power people. (2) High power people experience greater conflict with high power alter than with low power or unknown (control) alter. (3) The similarity judgments of low power people are more sensitive to alter-power than are those of high power people. (4) Low power people report high similarity to low power alters, and low similarity to high power and unknown-power alters. Taken together, these findings suggest that for high power people, conflict mediates the effect of ego power on susceptibility to social influence (SSI) while for low power people similarity mediates that effect.
The current study contributes to previous works in the field of social influence, by identifying unique mediators for high power and low power people- conflict for high power people and similarity for low power people. Moreover, the current research examined alter (source) power as part of the social influence process (SSI) while other research focused mainly on ego or target power.
Another contribution to the literature of social influence is methodological contribution- a novel manipulation was used in this research to manipulate power for both sides involved in the social interaction- ego and alter. Furthermore, in the practical sense, the results of this study have important implications for marketers, advertisers, firms, politicians and everyone who is interested in affecting people in social interactions.