Face-to-face meetings favour the powerful

Powerful people tend to get more out of meetings that are conducted in person. This is the suggestion of new research presented today (10 April) at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference at Harrogate, which found face-to-face interactions tend to favour those in higher positions.

Michael Taylor and fellow researchers from Imperial College London conducted two experiments as part of the investiogation.

The first saw 74 people taking part in two-sided negotiations in which one party was more powerful than the other, while the second included 63 participants in three-sided talks where different levels of hierarchy were represented.

These were carried out both in-person and in a 3D virtual simulation - and it was found that people with less power performed better in each experimenting when negotiating virtually.

Mr Taylor said: "When people negotiate from further apart, it affects their whole way of thinking. This can mean the contextual details of the negotiations ...  have less impact on the outcome."