The New Power and Responsibility Scales


This study was developing new scales to measure power aversion (an aversion to having power because you believe it will make you a bad person) and responsibility aversion (an aversion to having power because you dislike the responsibility attached to it).

Research Questions / Hypotheses

There were no hypotheses, this research was exploratory to develop a series of new scales. Our research question was whether power and responsibility aversion were separate constructs that can be meaningfully separated and measured.


158 students, the only exclusions were students who did the study last semester.


Participants filled out a series of surveys on Qualtrics. Our new scales, as well as the Pursuit of Power Scale and Big 5 Openness.


We ran an exploratory factor analysis and produced meaningful scales, removed some items.


The implications are that responsibility and power aversion are separate constructs and they can be measured. Power aversion is a new construct that demonstrates that some people dislike power, which is a meaningful contribution to the field.