- Three studies explored whether social power affects the perception of physical properties of objects, testing the hypothesis that the powerless find objects to be heavier than the powerful do.
- Correlational findings from Study 1 revealed that people with a low personal sense of power perceived loaded boxes to be heavier than people with a high personal sense of power perceived them to be.
- In Study 2, experimentally manipulated power indicated that participants in the powerless condition judged the boxes to be heavier than did participants in the powerful condition.
- Study 3 further indicated that lacking power actively influences weight perception relative to a neutral control condition, whereas having power does not.
- Although much research on embodied perception has shown that various physiological and psychosocial resources influence visual perception of the physical environment, this is the first demonstration suggesting that power, a psychosocial construct that relates to the control of resources, changes the perception of physical properties of objects.
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