The powerful select, the powerless reject: Power’s influence in decision strategies

Journal of Business Research

Mourali & Nagpal


July 1, 2013


This research examines the influence of power on consumer decision strategies. It proposes that high power directs consumers’ attention to options’ positive features, making choosing a more preferred strategy than rejecting, whereas low power shifts consumers’ focus to negative features, making rejecting a more preferred strategy than choosing. Two studies using different manipulations of power provide consistent support for this effect. The results also indicate that consumers in a state of high power are more satisfied with their choices when they adopt a choosing strategy than when they adopt a rejecting strategy, whereas the opposite is true for consumers in a state of low power. In addition, study 2 shows that the previous effects are reduced when consumers’ sense of responsibility is made salient.