Power influences the expression of Honesty-Humility: The power-exploitation affordances hypothesis

Ard J. Barends*, Reinout E. de Vries, Mark van Vugt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

545 Downloads (Pure)


Across different experiments we show that individual differences in Honesty-Humility predict exploitation in economic games, and that this relation is moderated by situational power. Power was manipulated by comparing games in which allocators either had absolute power (dictator game), intermediate (delta game), or shared power (ultimatum game) over joint outcomes. We developed the power-exploitation affordances hypothesis that predicts that allocators with lower Honesty-Humility act more exploitative when they have absolute power than when their power is intermediate or shared. Additionally, we also tested these predictions for the actual earnings in these games. The results were generally supportive of our main hypotheses. Our findings contribute to understanding situational and personality effects on how individuals behave in positions of power (e.g., leaders).

Original languageEnglish
Article number103856
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Early online date12 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Economic game
  • Honesty-Humility
  • Leadership
  • Power
  • Situational affordances
  • Situational strength


Dive into the research topics of 'Power influences the expression of Honesty-Humility: The power-exploitation affordances hypothesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this