Construal of power: Review and summary of measures and manipulations

Annika Scholl, K. Sassenberg, Naomi Ellemers, Daan Scheepers, Frank de Wit

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic


In this overview, we provide a collection of measures and manipulations which we have used to assess vs. induce different construals of social power in our joint program of research. In this work, we rely on the definition of social power as comprising asymmetric control over resources that others value (Fiske & Berdahl, 2007). We have proposed that powerholders can construe (i.e., cognitively appraise) this resource control differently: We contrast the opportunity to “make things happen”, which means that powerholders recognize the different possibilities they have to pursue (their own or their group’s) goals with the responsibility for “taking care of things” (e.g., protecting those with lower power, securing goal achievement, finalizing important decisions) that only they, as the ones in control, can do. As such, people holding power can construe their power differently (in general or depending on the situation), without changing the respective amount of power that they perceive (i.e., without feeling more or less powerful in the case of one construal, compared to the other construal). An elaborate introduction of the concept and summary of the current state of the art about the implications and impact of these different construals, can be found in Scholl et al. (2022).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2023


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