Complience outcomes and the bases of social power

An examination of the literature on the French and Raven (1959) bases of social power revealed that the effect of the outcome of compliance on various aspects of the powerholder-target relationship had been ignored. Past research had examined the effects of compliance only with outcome unspecified. An experiment was conducted investigating compliance outcome and its effect on the traditional dependent variables used in power base research, including future use of power base, surveillance, attraction, and private acceptance. Attributions of causality and responsibility for the outcome also were examined. Seventy-two subjects were exposed to all six power bases and either all positive or all negative outcomes by reading six scenarios describing one person influencing another using one of the power bases. In each scenario the stimulus person complied and subsequently received one of the outcomes. Results showed that while outcome and power base did not interact,