Current projects

A smattering of what I'm working on these days.

Written by Jen Overbeck

Answer Power Survey

People have different beliefs about power. I’d like to learn about how common these different beliefs are. You can help! Answer the embedded survey, which will also give you personalized feedback on your own approaches to power.

By Jen Overbeck in teaching research

Company Research Partnership

Are topics of hierarchy, change, influence, or diversity of concern to your organisation? I am always looking for opportunities to gather research data in exchange for feeding back actionable insights.

By Jen Overbeck in professional

Dissociative Status

This set of multiple studies has shown that people willingly confer status onto others who show defiance or exclusivity–qualities not normally considered part of the prestige pathway to status.

By Jen Overbeck in status studies research

Latent Lieutenant

In multiple studies, we’ve shown that a potential leader is seen as more powerful, more competent, and sometimes even more likable, based on the subtle nonverbal responses of other people around them.

By Jen Overbeck in power studies research

Power & Language

In this project with Robert Koerner (Bamberg Uni, Germany), we use natural language processing to identify how people signal their power through language use and how others pick up on these signals. We also examine how different use of power–coercive or collaborative–is conveyed in political communications.

By Jen Overbeck in power studies research

Status & Safety

We know (or think we know) that people want status because it carries privileges, opportunities, and rewards. But perhaps people want status for a more fundamental reason: because it helps keep us out of dangerous situations, thus making us safer.

By Jen Overbeck in status studies research

Theories of Power

In two papers with colleagues, I lay out two-factor theories that describe how some people want power for the pleasures it offers, and others because it enables progress toward important goals; and that analyze how power can lead to more agency or more aggression based on the power holder’s balance of resource control and capacity for volitional influence.

By Jen Overbeck in power theory writing