Self anchoring

By Ariel Schwartz via   Article

Your Boss Isn’t A Jerk, She’s Just “Self-Anchoring”

“As bosses become more powerful, they start to think that everyone who works for them wants the same things as they do. And that’s when things can get dangerous. …

In a paper recently published in Psychological Science, Jennifer Overbeck, a visiting professor at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, and her colleagues examined the idea that social power increases the incidence of self-anchoring.

‘It’s not that they’re trying to do a bad job or be selfish. It’s that they are referring to ‘How do I feel, how do I think?” ‘They simply believe that that generalizes to everyone,’ she says.

The researchers conducted three studies for the paper, all of which compared self-anchoring in powerless and powerful respondents. In all of the studies, powerful people relied on themselves as the primary data point. Disturbingly, in two of the studies, self-anchoring occurred mainly when powerful participants thought that other group members agreed with their negative attitudes, traits, and feelings more than their positive ones. ‘They want to be able to say ‘If I’m bad, greedy, and corrupt, well, so is everybody else. My group is just like me, I’m not any worse,” explains Overbeck. …

‘If you think about team leaders and CEOs, they’re frequently called on to be the representative–the spokesperson,’ she explains. ‘The world sees them as the group. There starts to be some confusion in self-concept and their own desires.'”


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