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Title: A study of distinct behavioural and cognitive correlates in favour of differentiating dominance, prestige, and leadership components in the explicit power motive
Author: Suessenbach, Felix
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 3834
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This work represents a theoretical and empirical study of distinct subcomponents of the explicit power motive (broadly defined as conscious desires to attain control and prestige) matching distinctions between social hierarchies (e.g., hierarchies based on forced or voluntary deference). Three factor analytic studies showed a consistent three factor structure in existing and newly created questionnaire items matching the power motive definition and selected for being able to distinguish between different kinds of hierarchies. These factors represented distinct motives for dominance (i.e., the desire to coerce others), prestige (i.e., the desire to attain others’ respect), and leadership (i.e., the desire to direct others): the DoPL motives. Several further studies were conducted to provide evidence for the DoPL motives’ validity and their distinct properties. First, mostly in line with the theoretical predictions, the DoPL motives showed differential correlations with relevant personality characteristics such as the BIG 5 personality traits or self-reported anger/aggression. Second, the DoPL motives explained more than 80% of variance in two power motive scales, showing that they indeed represent constituent parts of the power motive. Third, whereas the leadership motive predicted full-time employees’ rank across different fields of work, the prestige motive predicted participants’ endorsement of moral concerns. Fourth, the dominance motive predicted the amount of money participants kept for themselves in two dictator games. Fifth, whereas the dominance motive was negatively, the leadership motive was positively related to charitable giving behaviour. Sixth, a sample of Donald Trump voters in the 2016 US election showed more agreement with accusations of unfair treatment of their candidate as a function of their dominance motive. This effect was stronger before as compared to after the election. Seventh, a study related to effort mobilisation in tasks ostensibly related to the DoPL motives found no significant effects. In conclusion, this work amplifies the importance of differentiating between subcomponents of the explicit power motive by showing their differential relationship to a range of behavioural and cognitive outcomes and other relevant characteristics.
Supervisor: Moore, Adam ; Loughnan, Stephen ; Schonbrodt, Felix Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: dominance ; prestige ; leadership ; power motive ; hierarchy