Breaking Rules Makes You Seem Powerful

ScienceDaily (May 20, 2011) — When people have power, they act the part. Powerful people smile less, interrupt others, and speak in a louder voice. When people do not respect the basic rules of social behavior, they lead others to believe that they have power, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science.

People with power have a very different experience of the world than people without it. The powerful have fewer rules to follow, and they live in environments of money, knowledge and support. People without power live with threats of punishment and firm limits according to the research team lead by Gerben Van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam. Because the powerful are freer to break the rules — does breaking the rules seem more powerful?

People read about a visitor to an office who took a cup of employee coffee without asking or about a bookkeeper that bent accounting rules. The rule breakers were seen as more in control, and powerful compared to people who didn’t steal the coffee, or didn’t break bookkeeping rules.

Acting rudely also leads people to see power. People who saw a video of a man at a sidewalk café put his feet on another chair, drop cigarette ashes on the ground and order a meal brusquely thought the man was more likely to “get to make decisions” and able to “get people to listen to what he says” than the people who saw a video of the same man behaving politely.

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1 reply

  1. Breaking Rules Makes You Seems Powerful? Answer is it is on your way of thinking and mindset and the situation.If you are in the state where Law is not so strict and you have a mindset of showing you powerful by negative tactics then it happen for a short period.Or one is in a situation, like in a Hotel and want to show him as a rich person then only due to situation his negative tactics can show him more powerful due to that situation. Other-wise Breaking Rules can never be allowed or appreciated.Positive doings and positive thinking and polite way of life is the best.In moral societies more powerful are made more answerable.So they live more careful life than the ordinary peoples.The even speak carefully so that no one get hurtled by his peach or by hand or by his behavior.In moral societies more powerful are made more answerable to law and to themselves.Main thing is your thinking , mindset and belief.
    Like Hazrat Umer The Second Caliph who believed that if even a dog is found thirsty in his state He will be answerable to The God.

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