Using personalized and socialized power motivation to predict decision making in moral dilemma scenarios
Koh, Chee Siang
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The need for power (n Power) has been typically associated with antisocial behaviors such as aggression and physical abuse. More recently, researchers have been conceptualizing n Power as having a personalized and a socialized aspect. The personalized aspect is the motivation for power that enables personal aggrandizement, while the socialized aspect is the motivation for power that benefits others. The present study investigates the ability of personalized and socialized power motivation to predict decision making in scenarios that involve moral dilemmas, and whether these constructs are better predictors than a general n Power. Participants were first given a picture story exercise containing six pictures to measure their power motivation levels, and were then given four moral dilemmas where they had to make a choice to either benefit oneself at the expense of others (personalized decision) or benefit others at the expense of the self (socialized decision). The results showed that neither general n Power, personalized power motivation nor socialized power motivation had a significant main effect on the participants’ decisions. However, personalized power motivation was found to moderate the effects of socialized power motivation; when personalized power motivation was low, higher socialized power motivation predicted more socialized decisions, whereas, when personalized power motivation was high, higher socialized power motivation predicted more personalized decisions. In addition, post-hoc analysis found that socialized power motivation acted as a suppressor variable for general n Power in predicting the participants’ decision. In conclusion, personalized and socialized power motivation were shown to be useful in predicting ethical decision making.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University