A paradigm-shifting account of the power dynamics that shape everyday life - from the board room to the dinner table, the playground to the bedroom.
How do we gain and maintain power - through coercion or cooperation? What does it do to our behaviour? And what makes us lose power? In twenty revolutionary 'power principles', renowned psychologist Dacher Keltner turns everything we thought we knew about influence and status upside down, redefining power for our times.
This revolutionary new book shows us that everything we thought about power is dead wrong. It is not gained, as the Machiavellian view says, through coercive force. Influence comes instead to those who are socially intelligent and empathetic - but ironically the seductions of power make us lose those very qualities that made us powerful in the first place. Dacher Keltner illuminates this 'power paradox', revealing how both power and powerlessness distort human behaviour, affecting whether or not we will have an affair, break the law, suffer from depression or find our purpose in life. By redefining power as the ability to do good for others, Keltner turns everything we know about influence, status, and inequality upside down.
“Dacher Keltner is the most interesting psychologist in America. It's only a matter of time before his ideas spread everywhere”
“With personal insight and the latest science, The Power Paradox sheds light on human power's dark side, as well as its redeeming qualities. Everyone can learn from this wise book”
Susan T. Fiske, author of Social Cognition
“A refreshing change from a Machiavellian perspective and helps us to better understand what the - much more fulfilling - target of ambition should be”
Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level