Control over the association of power and size
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The hypothesis that power is mentally represented as size is tested. Using an interference paradigm, two studies show that judgments of the power of groups are influenced by the font size the group labels are written in. Power judgments were slower and less accurate when the font size did not fit the power of the groups. Informing participants about the possible influence of size and its direction decreased the effect on accuracy (Study 1). A high likelihood of incompatible trials and information about it decreased effects on both errors and response latencies given sufficient practice (Study 2). The results suggest that the mental representation of power is associated with size cues, but that this influence can be overcome with information and training.