Conditions Affecting the Relationship between Power and Identity Verification in Power Imbalanced Dyads



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In the present study, I look at the relationship between power and identity verification and the conditions under which this relationship can be disrupted. Specifically, I look at the role of information in disrupting power differences within identity processes. I examine these processes through an experiment with task-oriented, power-imbalanced, dyads (N=144). Priming participants with a task-leader identity, I test how the introduction of negotiation resources?or information discrepant and external to a high power actor?s self presentation, affect presentation power?or the degree to which an actor can maintain identity meanings in light of partner negotiations.

In contrast with existing literature, I did not find a direct relationship between power and identity verification. I did, however, find that those in higher positions of power experience greater identity stability, while those in lower positions of power experience increased identity change. Interestingly, I found that identity change and identity verification varied with identity valence, such that those with dominant task leader identity meanings experienced greater identity stability but less identity verification than their more submissive counterparts. These relationships, however were power dependent, such that differences disappeared among power-high actors, and were magnified for power-low actors. Negotiation Resources did not have a significant main effect, but showed a significant interaction with identity valence when predicting identity verification among power-low actors.