The Power Paradox

How We Gain and Lose Influence

by Dacher Keltner

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780718197636
  • 9781846146961

A revolutionary rethinking of everything we know about power

It shapes every interaction we have, whether we're trying to get a two-year-old to eat green vegetables or ask for a promotion at work. But how do we really gain power? And what does it do to us?

As renowned psychologist Dacher Keltner reveals, the new science of power shows that our Machiavellian view of status is wrong. Influence comes not to those who are ruthless, but to those with socially intelligence and empathy. Yet, ironically, the seductions of success lead us to lose those very qualities that made us powerful in the first place. Keltner draws on fascinating case studies to illuminate this 'power paradox', revealing how it shapes not just companies and elections but everyday relationships. As his myth-busting research shows, power - and powerlessness - distorts our behaviour, affecting whether or not we will have an affair, break the law, drive recklessly or find our purpose in life.

In twenty original 'power principles', Keltner shows how we can retain power by maintaining a focus on others. By redefining power as the ability to do good, The Power Paradox turns everything we know about influence, status and inequality upside down.


  • Penguin Books Ltd; May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781846146961
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Power Paradox
  • Author: Dacher Keltner
  • Imprint: Penguin
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780718197636
  • 9781846146961

About The Author

Dacher Keltner is Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. A renowned expert in the biological and evolutionary origins of human emotion, he has received numerous prizes for his research, which has been covered in The New York Times, Newsweek, the BBC and CNN. He is the bestselling author of Born to Be Good and has served as a consultant to Google, Facebook, and on the award-winning Pixar film, Inside Out. In 2008, the Utne Reader listed him as one of the fifty visionaries changing the world.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780718197636
  • 9781846146961