Objects of desire: Subordinate ingratiation triggers self-objectification among powerful individuals

Inesi, M and Lee, S Y and Rios, K (2014) Objects of desire: Subordinate ingratiation triggers self-objectification among powerful individuals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 53 (July). pp. 19-30. ISSN 0022-1031

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Abstract

We propose that powerful individuals can become victims of self-objectification, whereby power-relevant attributes become more important to their self-definition and lead to behavior consistent with that self-definition. This process is triggered by the receipt of ostensibly kind acts from subordinates, which are interpreted by power-holders as objectifying acts of ingratiation. In Studies 1 and 2, high-power participants rated power-relevant attributes as more important to their self-definition, but only after a triggering event (i.e., receiving a favor, reading a scenario about a subordinate who voices agreement with his boss's ideas). In Studies 3 and 4, high-power participants who received a favor were more likely than others to believe that they are objectified for their power-relevant attributes. As a result, they rated power-relevant attributes as more important to their self-definition (Study 3) and were willing to pay more for products associated with power, but not for products unrelated to power (Study 4).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Research centre: Leadership Institute
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.01.010
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 18:51
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2017 08:46
URI: http://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/5

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