Power vs motor neuronal mirroring

Power Changes How the Brain Responds to Others ,Jeremy Hogeveen Michael Inzlicht,Sukhvinder S. Obhi

The paper can be found here.

Disclaimer: This is a very quick,cheap attempt at science journalism. All conclusions are very very suspect.

These people used TMS(Transcranial Magnetic Simulation) device and used priming stimuli, to prime for high,low,neutral power conditions.

They used the TMS to cancel out neuronal activity in vertex and left hand area of left primary motor cortex.
They also used a couple of surface electrodes(left hand area) to measure MEP(Motor evoked potentials:electro myography measurements, these are triggered by the TMS stimulation. )

They delivered the TMS at the time point where the participants where watching video of a hand squeezing a ball to the maximum squeeze.

They observed that the high power primed individuals showed low MEP measures.

The priming was done thus:
    The participants were asked to write about a previous experience they had, where either they had power over someone or someone had power over them.
    The neutral power group participants were asked to write about their previous day.

So what does all this mean? Well i’ll leave it for you to decide. But will just say if their stat tests(checkout, right test for this method, enough sample size, etc..I am not qualified to judge those stuff), this means that the mental state associated with having power is also associated with less motor neuron mirroring activity.

There’s an interesting experiment that all those bosses can try , namely trying to mentally visualizing themselves doing that exact job, they are delegating. I don’t know whether it will help or cause problems, but would bet that bosses who have high expertise in the job they are delegating will have good, positive results from doing this exercise before delegating. Unfortunately testing it might be highly troublesome, because good blind cases will need bosses to explicitly not do it in some cases and in some others. I doubt that for all the intelligence 95% (of bosses/humans) might lack the Executive control to do these experiments deliberately. But that might be the only thing that can avoid a Douglas Adams’ world style future.