Skip to main content

From grumpy to cheerful (and back): How power impacts mood in and across different contexts

Leach, Stefan, Weick, Mario (2018) From grumpy to cheerful (and back): How power impacts mood in and across different contexts. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 79 . pp. 107-114. ISSN 0022-1031. (doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2018.05.004) (KAR id:67049)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (260kB) Preview
Official URL


Although lay intuition and some academic theories suggest that power increases variability in mood, the prevailing view in the literature is that power elevates mood—a view that is not consistently borne out in empirical data. To rectify these discrepancies, we conducted five studies examining the impact of high and low power on mood in, and across, contexts of differing valence (negative vs. neutral vs. positive). Drawing on 19,710 observations from 1,042 participants, we found that high (vs. medium/control) power elevated, and low (vs. medium/control) power dampened, individuals’ mood at baseline/in neutral contexts and in positive contexts. However, neither high (vs. medium/control) power nor low (vs. medium/control) power modulated individuals’ mood in negative contexts. Overall, high (vs. medium/control) power tended to increase, and low (vs. medium/control) power decreased variability in mood across contexts (the former effect was marginally significant). We discuss how these findings corroborate, but also qualify, lay intuition and social psychological theories of power.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jesp.2018.05.004
Uncontrolled keywords: social power, mood, context, variability
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre for the Study of Group Processes
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Organisational Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Mario Weick
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 11:58 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2020 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Weick, Mario:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year