Access the publisher's website: Social Psychological and Personality Science (forthcoming)
Music has long been suggested to be a way to make people feel powerful. The current research investigated whether music can AQ2 evoke a sense of power and produce power-related cognition and behavior. Initial pretests identified musical selections that generated subjective feelings of power. Experiment 1 found that music pretested to be powerful implicitly activated the construct of power in listeners. Experiments 2–4 demonstrated that power-inducing music produced three known important downstream consequences of power: abstract thinking, illusory control, and moving first. Experiments 5a and 5b held all features of music constant except for the level of bass and found that music with more bass increased the sense of power. This research expands our understanding of music’s influence on cognition and behavior and uncovers a novel antecedent of the sense of power.