Research AreasPower and Status
Motivation and Goal Setting
Pamela K. Smith’s area of expertise is social power, particularly from a social cognition standpoint.
Her research focuses on power: the degree to which one person has more control over valued resources than another. Smith’s areas of interest are the effect of power on people’s thinking, motivation, and behavior, and the subtle signals and signs people use to determine how much power they and others have. This work is strongly influenced by her fundamental interest in nonconscious processes more generally. In particular, she studies how individuals’ sense of their own and others’ power affects even processes below the level of awareness. Her work highlights how the inherently social construct of power has a multitude of internal psychological effects. Thus, throughout her research Smith studies the interplay between interpersonal and intrapersonal phenomena.
Smith is also an associate editor for Social Psychological and Personality Science. She is currently on the editorial board of the European Journal of Social Psychology and has been a reviewer for Administrative Science Quarterly, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, British Journal of Social Psychology, Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, Cognition, Cognition and Emotion, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Emotion, Experimental Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Group Dynamics, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Personality and Social Psychology Review, Psychological Science, Social Cognition, Social Psychology, and Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Smith received her Ph.D. in social psychology from New York University in 2004. During her graduate work she was awarded the Society of Experimental Social Psychology Dissertation Award and the New York University Stuart Cook Award in Social Psychology. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam and an assistant professor at Leiden University and Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
Kunstman, J. W., Fitzpatrick, C., & Smith, P. K. (in press). Poisoned praise: Discounted praise backfires and undermines subordinate impressions in the minds of the powerful. Social Phsychological and Personality Science.
Johnson, C.S., Smith, P. K., & Wang, C. (2017). Sage on the stage: Women's representation at an academic conference. Personallity and Scocial Psychology Bulletin, 43, 493-507.
Smith, P. K., & Hofmann, W. (2016). Power in everyday life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 10043-10048
Wakslak, C.J., Smith, P. K., & Han, A. (2014). Using abstract language signals power. Journal of Personality and Scoial Psychology, 107, 42-55.
Magee, J. C., & Smith, P. K. (2013). The social distance theory of power. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17, 158-186.
Karremans, J. C., & Smith, P. K., (2010). having the power to forgive: When the experience of power increases interpersonal forgiveness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1010-1023.
Smith, P. K., Jostmann, N. B., Galinsky, A. D., & van Dijk, W. (2008). Lacking power impairs executive functions. Psychological Science, 19, 441-447.
Smith, P. K., Wigboldus, D. H. J., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2008). Abstract thinking increases one's sense of power. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 378-385.
Smith, P. K., & Trope, Y. (2006). You focus on the forest when you're in charge of the trees: Power priming and abstract information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 578-596.