Jure Jamnik1, 2 and
Gregor Žvelc1, 3, 4

1University of Primorska - Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies. Department of Psychology
  Koper, Slovenia
2Institute for Clinical Hypnosis, Counseling and Psychology
  Radovljica, Slovenia
3University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology
  Ljubljana, Slovenia
4Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling
  Ljubljana, Slovenia

INDECS 15(4), 228-241, 2017
DOI 10.7906/indecs.15.4.1
Full text available here.

Received: 28th November 2017.
Accepted: 18th December 2017.
Regular article


The objective of this study was to identify whether the changes in assuming power poses during a conversation between a pair of individuals, who were previously familiar with each other, influence the hierarchy of power, changes in it, as well as maintenance and adoption of different roles in the hierarchy. We assumed changes in roles of power on the basis of changes in visual dominance behaviour, which proved to be a reliable indicator of the social power of the individual in previous researches. Each pair conversed on predefined topics three times for three minutes. By placing individuals in a neutral or expansive posture, the purpose of which was covered by the use of a cover story, we created a difference in nonverbal expression of power between the two individuals. In the first conversation, both individuals adopted a neutral pose. In the second conversation, one individual adopted an expansive posture, while the other remained in a neutral one, and vice versa in the third conversation. Interactions were filmed with two cameras, which enabled us to analyse nonverbal behaviour. The results show that the differences in displays of power with expansive body postures between individuals are not associated with changes in visual dominance behaviour of individuals. From this we conclude that in the relations in which the social hierarchy of power is already established, the use of power poses does not help increase the power of the individual who adopts the posture.


social power, embodiment, visual dominance behaviour


JEL:C79, C90

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