Power Basis Theory

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Power Pictures

Power affects everybody and everybody needs it
Power is hard to understand and measure because it takes many forms
Power is hard to measure because it changes and is often disguised

Power basis theory is a theory that explains what power is, why power is a recurrent feature of social life, and how power is used by individuals, social groups, and institutions.

According to power basis theory, power is the ability to meet one’s needs for survival (e.g., consuming resources, belonging to a community). People have specific recurring types of survival needs, and they use corresponding forms of power to meet their survival needs. Below, you will find separate pages that detail power basis theory and also a new method, called the In Game, that we have used to study power dynamics in experimental settings.


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University of Connecticut Research Foundation
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To ask further questions
or provide constructive feedback on this website and research,
please email Dr. Felicia Pratto :
felicia.pratto “at” uconn.edu