Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Psychology (PSYC)

First Advisor

Aaron Lukaszewski


An individual's subjective sense of power has been shown to have a variety of effects on their decision making and psyche. In prior studies, feelings of power have increased proactivity and persuasiveness while reducing psychological inhibition. As a result, powerful individuals are more likely to achieve status within a group or earn promotions. Additionally, dominant primates reconcile group disputes and powerful individuals have increased levels of moral hypocrisy. However, it is currently unclear how power and in-group dominance influence group monitoring and the dimensions of moral decision making in humans. In this study, we found that high-power individuals were more likely to intervene in group affairs when there was a cost associated with doing so. Additionally, they devalued individualizing moral concerns in favor of those that would promote social cohesion. These results indicate that powerful individuals play an important role in stabilizing group dynamics and resolving conflicts in human populations. Additionally, they suggest that more powerful individuals may spend more time monitoring group members, even if unable to assume perspectives other than their own.