Rules of power

How do you recognise power in others? Do you rely on them wearing a cape? Do powerful people always wear their underwear on the outside? There are of course many symbols of power but a new study suggests that if you want to appear powerful then you might want to start breaking a few rules.

In a new study participants were asked to read some stories and the evaluate how powerful the people in the stories were. In one story for instance, a visitor to an office took a cup of coffee without asking. In another a book-keeper bent accounting rules. The rule breakers were seen as more in control and powerful than other people who did not break social or accounting rules.

On another occasion subjects watched a video of a man at an outdoor café who put his feet on another chair, dropped cigarette ash on the ground and ordered a meal in a brusque manner. Another video showed a man sitting with his feet on the ground, ashing his cigarette in an ash-tray and politely ordering from a waiter.

Observers of these videos thought that the brusque, rule-breaking man was more likely to “get to make decisions” and to “get people to listen to what he says”.

These two experiments involved observation of a rule breaker so the researchers went a step further to find out how people relate to a rule breaker in person. For this part of the study subjects were asked to come into the lab. They found themselves waiting with an actor who either was polite or a rule-breaker. The polite version said hello and made conversation while the rule-breaker arrived late, threw done his bag, and put his feet on the table.

Overwhelmingly the rule-breaker was perceived as being more likely to get people to do what he wants.

The researchers say that all of these perceptions are rooted in the idea that people who violate societal norms, or rules, are judged to have the capacity to act as they please. Powerful people are expected to smile less, interrupt others, and speak in a louder voice. Why? Because they can.

We assume that people without power follow rules because they have to, they are protected by the rules. By contrast people with power live in environments of money, knowledge, and support. The rules for these powerful people are few.

Why wait then until you are actually powerful to enjoy the fruits of power? Act on the “build it and they will come” principle. Try doing the things that powerful people do and see if people treat you any differently, assuming that you aren’t already high and mighty of course. We aren’t encouraging anarchy, just a social experiment on living with power. Imagine for a moment if we were all powerful people: what would the world look like then?

Source: Social Psychological and Personality ScienceMeanwhile if you visit Meijer Ad that contains mostly likewise discounts with Winn Dixie Ad you surely have a range like ALDI Ad.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 24t143809.421

Plant-based goodness

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 24t143809.421

Plantein Tenders with Sweet Chilli Soba Noodles

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 24t142948.529

Sweet Chilli Tender Caesar Slaw Tacos

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 24t142142.544

Mediterranean Winter Roast