Publication Date



Three experiments tested the prediction that individuals’ experience of power influences perceptions of their own height. Power decreased judgments of an object’s height relative to the self (Study 1), made participants overestimate their own height (Study 2) and caused participants to choose a taller avatar to represent them in a second-life game (Study 3). These results emerged regardless of whether power was experientially primed (Study 1 and 3) or manipulated through roles (Study 2). Although a great deal of research has shown that physically imposing individuals are more likely to acquire power, this work is the first to show that the powerful may actually feel taller than they are. The discussion considers implications for existing and future research on the physical experience of power.


Suggested Citation

Duguid, M. M. & Goncalo, J. A. (2011). Living large: The powerful overestimate their own height [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement

© Sage Publications. Forthcoming as: Duguid, M. M. & Goncalo, J. A. (in press). Living large: The powerful overestimate their own height. Psychological Science. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.