Key themes: Speakers convey power; listeners and readers perceive it. Do speakers use identifiable language patterns? Do receivers use those patterns accurately and understand how powerful the speaker is?
Key themes: Politicians convey their “theory of power” through their speech. Using ten Brinke and Keltner’s (2020) lay theories of power, Russell’s (1938) naked power and traditional power, and the prestige-dominance framework (Henrich & Gil-White, 2001), we examine how the language use of US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden differed during the 2020 election.