There’s a mildly chiding phrase that often shows up on Instagram and Pinterest and coffee mugs: You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyoncé. This, while technically true, is not likely the way Bey herself sees things. People who feel powerful also feel like they have more control over time than their minions, says a study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Over five studies with 557 total participants, the researchers found that “power increases perceptions of available time, and that perceived control over time underlies this effect,” they write. In one of those studies, 102 students were told to imagine themselves in a job interview; some were told they were the interviewer and others were told they were the interviewee. Researchers then asked them to take a survey answering questions like, I feel like there is plenty of time in my life to make new plans or Time is slipping away. Overall, the people who were imagining a boss-version of themselves were more likely to feel like they had more time available to them than those picturing themselves as a lowly job-seeker.
And, really, they’re not wrong. We all get 24 hours, true, but powerful people do have more control over the way they spend them. A CEO can cancel a meeting if he or she wants, for example, whereas an entry-level employee doesn’t have that option. And people in power tend to have assistants to tend to the time-suck items on their to-do lists. To sum: You kind of don’t have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé does, despite what the coffee mug says. Because Beyoncé controls time.