Power changes the way people think

Power can make people think differently, with the feeling of this ability to influence others making individuals more focused and analytical in their endeavours. This is the finding of new research, which suggested such thinking could prove beneficial for those pursuing personal targets.

Published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin - the official journal for the Society of Personality and Social Psychology - the study puts forward the idea that thinking is flexible, rather than pre-programmed or rigid.

Li-Jun Ji, a Social Psychologist studying the relationship between culture and thinking, explained people are able to alter the way they consider matters depending on the needs of the situation.

However, the investigation related solely to those residing in North America and Dr Ji noted: "The specific ways we might attune our thinking seems to depend on our cultural background."

In this part of the world, it was demonstrated that focusing on an aim and how to achieve it - without the surrounding context causing a distraction - can be highly beneficial for the individual. 

Dr Howard Kahn commented: "The power of positive thinking is nothing new - it's been around since the 1950s.

"This article suggests that the acquisition of power allows the holder to change the way they normally think, but perhaps it is people with flexible thinking who get promoted to positions of power in the first place?"