Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reactions to Sept. 11 Attacks: How Power Influences Interpretation

Date:
August 10, 2009
Source:
New York University
Summary:
A newly completed study of public reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks concludes that people in positions of power, from government officials to managers working on Wall Street to military personnel, tended to interpret the events in more abstract terms and with more certainty and positivity than ordinary individuals.

A newly completed New York University study of public reaction to the 9/11 attacks concludes that people in positions of power, from government officials to managers working on Wall Street to military personnel, tended to interpret the events in more abstract terms and with more certainty and positivity than ordinary individuals.

The study, "Power Differences in the Construal of a Crisis," slated for publication in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, is a rare, comprehensive test of the relationship between power and perception in a real-world context, illuminating how decision makers' understanding of the attacks were affected by power and such factors as geographic proximity. Its authors include Joe C. Magee, assistant professor of management, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University; Francis J. Milliken, professor and Peter Drucker faculty fellow, the NYU Stern School of Business; and Adam R. Lurie, a student at New York University.

The analysis of hundreds of public comments published or aired in the media from September 11 to 20, 2001, supports other investigators' prior findings that abstract interpretations are a factor responsible for the tendency to be overconfident in estimating how long it will take to complete one's objectives. The researchers also note that abstract construal might have contributed to national leaders underestimating the difficulties they would face in accomplishing their objectives stemming from September 11, 2001.

"Given that America's strategic decision makers also had power domestically, geopolitically, and militarily, and [that] power would [make them more abstract in their thinking], it seems likely that they would have overestimated their chances of achieving their goals," they write. "As it turns out, in the aftermath of 9/11, the government began an escalation of military aggression that it is still seeking to resolve at the time of this writing."

"Our study opens up the question of whether or not this was due in part to the construal processes of government and military officials, influenced by the hypothetical nature of the situations they were considering and the power they held," they add.

Professor Magee will present this research at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Chicago on Monday, August 10th.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York University. "Reactions to Sept. 11 Attacks: How Power Influences Interpretation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810024823.htm>.
New York University. (2009, August 10). Reactions to Sept. 11 Attacks: How Power Influences Interpretation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810024823.htm
New York University. "Reactions to Sept. 11 Attacks: How Power Influences Interpretation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810024823.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins