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The downside of looking like a leader: power, nonverbal confidence, and participative decision-making

Locke, Connson C. and Anderson, Cameron (2015) The downside of looking like a leader: power, nonverbal confidence, and participative decision-making. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 58. pp. 42-47. ISSN 0022-1031

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.12.004


An abundance of evidence suggests that exhibiting a confident nonverbal demeanor helps individuals ascend social hierarchies. The current research examines some of the implications of having individuals in positions of power who exhibit such nonverbal confidence. Three studies examined dyads that worked together on decision-making tasks. It was found that people participated less in a discussion when they interacted with a powerful individual who exhibited confidence than when a powerful individual did not exhibit confidence. Moreover, people who interacted with a confident powerful individual participated less because they viewed that individual to be more competent. People even deferred to the confident powerful individual's opinions when that individual was wrong, leading to suboptimal joint decisions. Moderation analyses suggest that the powerful individual was able to mitigate the effects of a confident demeanor somewhat by also showing an open nonverbal demeanor.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Organisational Behaviour Group
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2015 11:22
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 01:04
Funders: Schwabacher Fellowship, UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Haas X-Lab

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