Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 917–928 | Cite as

The power motive as a predictor of receptiveness to nonverbal behavior in sport

  • Philip FurleyEmail author
  • Geoffrey Schweizer
  • Mirko Wegner
Original Paper


The study tested the hypothesis that the implicit power motive is positively associated with receptiveness to nonverbal cues related to submissiveness in sports. Participants’ (N = 156) implicit and explicit power motives were measured. Receptiveness to nonverbal dominance and submissiveness cues was measured using videos from sports competitions depicting elite athletes who are supposed to send nonverbal signals dependent on the current score. Participants’ task was estimating if athletes were currently trailing or leading. Participants’ estimates were compared to the actual score in the video scenes. Results suggest that participants scoring high in the implicit power motive were more receptive towards submissive cues, but not more receptive towards dominant cues. This finding suggests that the implicit power motive is associated with a greater receptiveness for cues related to submissiveness.


Sport Emotion expression Nonverbal behavior Thin slices Implicit power motive 



Special thanks go to Samuel Gähwiler, Maurice Heylen, and Wolfgang Walther for helping with the data collection and programming in this study.


No external funding supported the present research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they had no conflicts of interest with respect to their authorship or the publication of this article.


The authors declare that (1) (a) the total number of excluded observations and (b) the reasons for making these exclusions have been reported in this manuscript; (2) that all independent variables or manipulations, whether successful or failed, have been reported in the manuscript; (3) that all dependent variables or measures that were analyzed for this article’s target research question have been reported in in the manuscript; (4) that (a) how sample size was determined has been reported in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Research involving human participants and/or animals and informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Furley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Geoffrey Schweizer
    • 2
  • Mirko Wegner
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Training and Computer Science in SportGerman Sport UniversityCologneGermany
  2. 2.University of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Universität BernBernSwitzerland

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