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Bullseye! How power improves motor performance

Burgmer, Pascal, Englich, Birte (2013) Bullseye! How power improves motor performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4 (2). pp. 224-232. ISSN 1948-5506. (doi:10.1177/1948550612452014) (KAR id:71357)

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Power makes people think, feel, and behave in ways that help them to maintain and increase power. Thus far, the mechanisms underlying power’s beneficial effects on goal pursuit have been investigated predominantly on a cognitive level. The present research tested whether power influences goal pursuit in an even more fundamental way, namely by improving actual behavior on motor-based tasks. Furthermore, we suggest that this effect is produced by changes in perceptual goal representation. Consistent with our assumptions, Experiment 1 found that individuals primed with high-power outperformed control participants on a golf-putting task. In Experiment 2, individuals receiving a high-power prime outperformed individuals receiving a low-power prime on a dart-throwing task. Moreover, high-power primed participants represented the focal goal (a dart board) in greater goal-relevant detail, which mediated the effect of power on motor performance. Taken together, these findings suggest that power shapes performance in more fundamental ways than previously assumed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1948550612452014
Uncontrolled keywords: power, goals, goal representation, performance, motor performance, social cognition
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pascal Burgmer
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2018 09:41 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Burgmer, Pascal:
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