chapter  11
Accentuation of tending and befriending among the powerless
ByAna Guinote, Joris Lammers
Pages 18

Considerable research in the past decade has demonstrated that power leads to disinhibition and powerlessness to inhibition (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003; see also Galinsky, Gruenfeld, & Magee, 2003; Guinote, 2007a; Smith & Bargh, 2008). This association between the powerless and inhibition may have created the false impression that the powerless are inactive, relegated to a passive role in social interactions, and therefore an uninteresting topic of study. Compared to the dynamic powerful, who are actively engaging in action and are leading the way, the powerless seem passive, risk averse, and dull, waiting to follow others. As a consequence, the motivations and strategies of powerless individuals remain largely unknown. In the current chapter, however, we aim to show that the psychological state of powerlessness triggers multifaceted and dynamic social strategies that are designed to enhance the adaptation of individuals. Contrary to common belief, the powerless are an exciting topic of study that offers fruitful avenues for the understanding of human needs and the role of sociality in human adaptation.