Why does power lead to action? Theories of power suggest it leads to action because it presses the psychological gas pedal. A review of two decades of research finds, instead, that power releases the psychological brakes on action. Power releases the psychological brakes on action by making failure seem less probable and feel less painful, thereby decreasing the downside risks of action. Power releases the psychological brakes on action by shrouding the feelings and thoughts of others, thereby diminishing the perceived social costs of action. Power releases the psychological brakes on action by limiting goal-inhibiting distractions, thereby promoting greater goal focus and focusing the mind on action. By removing these psychological barriers to action, power leads to action.
Pike, B., and Adam Galinsky. "Power leads to action because it releases the psychological brakes on action." Current Opinion in Psychology 33 (June 2020): 91-94.
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