Postprint version. Published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 96, Issue 3, March 1, 2009, pages 710-727.
Copyright © 2009 American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Carrie A. Langner was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0014526.
Integrating and extending the literatures on social power and person–environment fit, 4 studies tested the hypothesis that when people's dispositional beliefs about their capacity to influence others fit their assigned role power, they are more likely to engage in self-expression—that is, behave in line with their states and traits—thereby increasing their likelihood of being perceived by others in a manner congruent with their own self-judgments (i.e., self–other congruence). In Studies 1–3, dispositionally high- and low-power participants were randomly assigned to play a high- or low-power role in an interaction with a confederate. When participants' dispositional and role power fit (vs. conflicted), they reported greater self-expression (Study 1). Furthermore, under dispositional-role power fit conditions, the confederate's ratings of participants' emotional experiences (Study 2) and personality traits (Study 3) were more congruent with participants' self-reported emotions and traits. Study 4's results replicated Study 3's results using an implicit manipulation of power and outside observers' (rather than a confederate's) ratings of participants. Implications for research on power and person perception are discussed.