Behind A Powerful Mind Lies Own Experience, Says Research

Inspiration lies within us. At least for powerful people it does. A new study shows that influential people draw inspiration from their own experiences and not from those of others.

According Gerben van Kleef, the lead researcher of the study and a professor of social psychology at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, people with less power are better able to draw inspiration from others.

A good sign you are talking to a powerful person is when they get excited talking about their own experiences and are bad listeners in turn.

Van Kleef and his team conducted four experiments in order to determine where powerful people find inspiration. Between 82 and 239 undergraduate students at the University of Amsterdam and the University of California, Berkeley, participated in each of the experiments and had to answer surveys about how powerful they felt, rating themselves on questions such as, “I can get others to do what I want” and “I think I have a great deal of power.”

The researchers have three theories over the question why powerful individuals are more inspired by themselves – they have a tendency to inflate their own importance while depreciating others, they also have a harder time appreciating the greatness of another person, and are less susceptible to social pressures, which might make it easier for them “to publicly indulge in the greatness of their own experiences.


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