When (state and trait) powers collide: Effects of power-incongruence and self-control on prosocial behavior

Tomer Schmidt-Barad, Liad Uziel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This research addresses the impact of incongruence between trait and state power on the link between self-control and prosocial behavior. Past research has established that self-control is a powerful resource for behavioral flexibility, enabling one to execute tough, yet personally rewarding, decisions under challenging circumstances. State-trait power-incongruence may pose a threat on individuals, encouraging self-preservation at the expense of others. In this context, self-control is predicted to be associated with self-serving motives and behavior. The present article offers a first empirical test of this possibility. Two experiments demonstrated that under power-incongruence, self-control was associated with less emphasis on prosocial values (Study 1) and behavior (Study 2). Study 3 demonstrated that self-affirmation counters this effect, supporting the notion that power-incongruence poses a threat to the integrity of the self. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110009
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Liad Uziel's contribution was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF Grant No. 481/17 ) and by a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel. The authors would like to thank Yaniv Ofer and Shimi Rokah for their invaluable assistance in designing the computerized task used in Study 2.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Power
  • Power-incongruence
  • Prosociality
  • Self-control


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