Researchers have revealed that power has both independent and interdependent aspects, and how the two dimensions are activated depends on contextual goals and values. In the present study, we tested the differential effects of power on happiness in two cultures that differ in their relative emphasis of social relations. We hypothesized that in an interdependent culture (South Korea), power based on interpersonal connectedness (i.e., social power) would enhance happiness more than would power that stems from independence from others (i.e., personal power). In contrast, in an independent culture (America), we examined whether personal power would bring more happiness than would social power. Findings showed that social power increased life satisfaction but personal power decreased affective well-being among Korean participants. In contrast, American participants' personal power enhanced their subjective well-being, but their well-being did not differ by levels of social power. Implications of these findings for types of power, happiness, and culture are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Social Sciences(all)