An experiment measured what happened when power-driven people gave speeches to an audience that responded with blatant, deliberate acts of boredom.
The researchers, Eugene Fodor and David Wick of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, wrote up the details in a blandly titled monograph, Need for Power and Affective Response to Negative Audience Reaction to an Extemporaneous Speech, in the Journal of Research in Personality.
Fodor and Wick found some power-seekers and power-avoiders. They used a standard psychological method to identify these people. Fodor and Wick then asked each to give a three-minute persuasive speech to an audience. A wee, special audience – a woman and a man trained and rehearsed for the occasion….
So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.