desire for power

Published: 16 February 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/pbt47jrs3b.1
Lei Zhu


Why people desire for power? The present study aims to provide a plausible answer from the perspective of evolutionary life history theory. Evolutionary life history theory emphasizes that human behaviors are evolutionarily adaptive to environmental challenges. Drawing on the life history theory, we examined the relationships between childhood environmental harshness and unpredictability, economic uncertainty, sense of control, and desire for power. The findings demonstrated that under economic uncertainty condition, people from poorer compared to wealthier childhoods desired greater power. Furthermore, sense of control was confirmed as a mediator of the association between childhood SES and desire for power. These results demonstrate that low childhood SES is associated with increased need for control, which predicts increased desire for power.