Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)
Reh, Susan, Niels Van Quaquebeke and Steffen R. Giessner (In press):The aura of charisma: A review on the embodiment perspective as signaling, The Leadership Quarterly.
Abstract: Charismatic leaders have consistently been shown to affect followers’ performance, motivation, and satisfaction. Yet, what precisely constitutes charisma still remains somewhat enigmatic. So far, research has mainly focused on leader traits, leader behaviors, or the leader follower- relationship, and the subsequent consequences of each on followers’ self-concepts. All of these approaches share the notion that leader charisma depends on an explicit interaction between leader and follower. With the present review paper, we extend extant theorizing by arguing that charisma is additionally informed by embodied signals that flow directly from either the leader or the immediate environment. We introduce the embodiment perspective on human perception and describe its utility for theoretically understanding the charismatic effect. Correspondingly, we review studies that show which concrete embodied cues can support the charismatic effect. Finally, we discuss the variety of new theoretical and practical implications that arise from this research and how they can complement existing approaches to charismatic leadership.
Pottgen, Jana, Isabel Dziobek, Susan Reh, Christoph Heesen and Stefan M. Gold (2013):Impaired social cognition in multiple sclerosis, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 84(5): 523-528.
Abstract: Background Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorder of the CNS that is frequently associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms and decreased quality of life. Social support, which has been found to buffer the psychosocial burden of MS, critically depends on intact social cognition. Here we assess social cognition in patients with MS using a naturalistic video based test and explore if potential deficits in theory of mind (ToM) occur independently of known MS associated neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as depression and cognitive impairment.Methods 45 outpatients with clinically definite MS and 45 age, sex and education matched healthy control subjects (HCs) underwent standardised testing using the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition. MS patients also completed a neuropsychological battery.Results MS patients showed significantly impaired ToM compared with HCs. Impairments were more pronounced in identification of emotions than in identification of thoughts or intentions. Significantly lower ToM compared with HCs was detected in MS patients during the early disease stages, with limited disability and without substantial neuropsychological deficits.Conclusions These results suggest impaired social cognition in MS. Importantly, ToM impairments in this group may not simply be a consequence of the well known neuropsychological deficits. Difficulties with correctly identifying emotions, thoughts and intentions in social situations may result in interpersonal problems and could contribute to the psychosocial burden of MS.