Stratification in Caphiria

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Template:Politics of Caphiria The concept of stratification in the Imperium of Caphiria is incredibly complex and diverse, encompassing both legal and social status. Stratification is generally hierarchical, but there are multiple and overlapping social hierarchies, and an individual's relative position in one might be higher or lower than in another. There are three distinct concepts that go into establishing one's place in Caphirian society:

  • Power (Potestas): A citizen's ability to do what they want despite resistance from others.
  • Status (Dignitas): A citizen's prestige, popularity and honor or how highly society regards them.
  • Class (Ordo): A citizen's legal and economic position in society.

At the peak of the social pyramid (pyramidis societas) is the Imperator. An Imperator has the highest dignitas, potestas, and is of the highest ordo in Caphirian society. If sociologists do not recognize any absolute standard for these ordinal measures than the Imperator is the relative standard to which the qualities of other residents in the empire are compared. Power and Status are generally perceived to be directly tied to a person's social standing, whereas Class is a person's legal status. After the Imperator, the peak of the pyramidis societas is the imperial family, which is currently the House of Panther. Altogether the imperial family tends to hold offices of power and a number of prestigious military and collegian posts, they are rarely handed out in the form of nepotism and are usually won based on merit.

The modern stratification system of Caphiria was first outlined in 1925 by Benico Artensoria Gravalchi, a Caphirian sociologist, philosopher, jurist, and political economist. Gravalchi is one of the most important theorists on the development of modern Caphirian society. His masterwork, Oeconomia et Societas, published in 1927, defined the state as an entity that successfully claims a "monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory", an idea that would become part of the Caphirian ethos leading into the 21st century. Gravalchi would play a major role in the development of the multidimensional approach to Caphiria's social stratification, being responsible for creating the link among wealth, prestige and power.

Class (Ordo)

The concept of class stratification in Caphiria is by far the most prevalent and important of the three concepts. Ordo is defined as an "individual's socioeconomic position within Caphirian society, taking into account factors like wealth, income, race, education, gender, occupation, and social status."

Ordo is primarily determined by two distinctions, collectively called stratum: Economic Class and Social Class, both of which have their own independent scale:

Social Class Patrician Equite Upper Plebeian Lower Plebeian Peregrini Indigeni
Economic Class Elite Elite Upper Middle Middle Working Class Working Poor
Upper Middle Lower Middle Working Poor Underclass
Lower Middle Working Class Underclass
Working Poor

A rapid rise through class in Caphirian society is a rare event and often the subject of cultural legend. These people are referred to as novi homines (new men) with great respect. They are celebrities deserving of their fame. Cicero, the great statesman, is the poster boy of the New Men - he is after all perhaps the most famous non-Imperator in Caphiria's history with more records about him than Lanintius himself. Other famous New Men are Archaedavincus Acutula, the Imperium's most prolific inventor; Aulus Lugius, the finest playwright of all time and Lucius Volta, a tremendously successful scientific entrepreneur. They are the legendary cases of plebeians who rose to become patricians.

Social Class

Stratification by social class starts at birth where the child is given his or her father's standing in society - patrician, equite, plebeian, indigeni or peregrini. Intermarriage is discouraged by costing the higher class family dishonor but does happen on occasion. Appeals can be made to praetores or the Imperator on the basis of wealth to advance but these are rewarded only in extraordinary circumstances and almost never to citizens who aspire to join the aristocratic order of patricians. Conversely, a member of the upper classes can move down by having him or her self adopted into a family of lower class, an act viewed as tremendously disgraceful.

Patrician class

The Patricians are the ruling class of Caphiria. Making up only 0.6% of the population, they are wealthy and elite families and historically had more privileges and rights than the rest of society as they were usually prominent politicians and members of society. At the top of the Patrician class are the ten Imperial Estates, which can directly trace their lineage to a previous Imperator. Competitions for power between these ancient clans shaped the political landscape of Caphiria for the last two and a half hundred years - since its foundation as a Republic. Marriage outside the Patrician class by members of these clans has consistently resulted in disinheritance. Members of Imperial Houses tend to dominate Caphirian politics and policy, publicly and privately. They are viewed as second to only the Imperator and his family.

While a mere 11,390 patricians belong to Imperial Houses, with less than 250 making up the current greater imperial family, more than 9 million citizens count themselves among the aristocracy. Hyper-prominent individuals within the Patrician class may use the term "genu primas" (first class) a way to distinguish themselves from the rest of the class, though the term carries little additional weight. These individuals tend to be extremely wealthy and wield considerable power and influence.

Advantages to membership in the nobility, aside from natural dignitas, are invulnerability to sentences of execution (except capital crimes such as treason, or under direct orders of the Imperator), ability to freely enter government facilities (unless prohibited), special placement at venues like the theater and market, and the right to follow the cursus honorum, a path through the entire political spectrum of the Imperium from minor offices to Senate. Nevertheless, patricians obey the same laws, pay the same proportional rate of taxes and have the same vote as lower class citizens.

Equite class

Below Patricians are the Equite class, making up the "upper class" for those not born in the aristocracy. Making up 15.9% of the population, the equestrian rank is enjoyed by nearly 123 million citizens. For most citizens, becoming a member of the Equite class is the highest obtainable ordo, and as such it is a highly sought after place in society. Lacking the dignitas of the nobility, many equites are still wealthier than their upperclassmen.

Members of the Equite class are typically knowledgeable and have been educated in "elite" settings. Because the bulk of equestrians are not born into their wealth, they place an extremely high value on education and go above and beyond to ensure their children will also be a member of the upper class when they grow up. Equestrian parents enroll their children in prestigious preschools and elementary schools leading to private middle schools and high schools, and finally elite, private colleges such as Fortuna Institute. Through this, their children traditionally join exclusive clubs or fraternities and further ingrain themselves in the upper echelon of society. Hefty donations and tithes to the church are also used a way to ingratiate themselves further.

Members of the Equites control and own significant portions of corporate Caphiria and may exercise indirect power through the investment of capital. The high salaries and the potential for amassing great wealth through stock options have greatly increased the power and visibility of the "corporate elite". The equestrians are renowned for a work ethic that is the envy of other countries, bringing them wealth through their own hard work. For this common trait, some of the largest corporations are owned by an equestrian rather than a patrician. The very richest of these corporate magnates is Alexandus Venio II, with a net worth of $70 billion from his ownership of Quicksilver Industries, Caphiria's largest and most valuable company.

Plebeian class

Below the Equites is the Plebeians, or Plebs, - socially divided into the Upper-Plebeian order and the Lower-Plebeian order. Upper Plebs are the empire's middle class, earning a decent living but lacking the privileges of the upper classes. They represent the average citizen, making up the majority of the population. Lower Plebs are the work force, those of farmer, miner, janitor, doormen, street cleaner, servant and the like, ones which few Caphirians consider respectful employment, despite the rigorous physical and mental fortitude required to perform many of these tasks Plebeians receive good benefits from the government to compensate for their reduced privileges and are more well-off than the lower classes citizens of other countries.

Upper Plebs, making up 22.8% of the population, are highly educated salaried professionals whose work is largely self-directed. Many have advanced graduate degrees and household incomes commonly exceed the high five-figure range. Members of this class commonly value higher education – most holding advanced academic degrees – and are often involved with personal and professional networks including professional organizations. The upper middle class tends to have great influence over the course of society, and are seen as trendsetters; the anti-smoking, pro-fitness, and organic food movements, as well as environmentalism, are largely indigenous to this socio-economic grouping.

Members of the lower Plebs make up 39.2% of the population and belong to diverse groups which overlap with each other. Overall, lower Plebs are characterized by conceptualizing, creating and consulting. Their values tend to emphasize independence, adherence to intrinsic standards, valuing innovation and respecting non-conformity and believe that they will rise out of their class to higher standards. Income varies considerably, from near the national median to well in excess of $100,000. However, household income figures do not always reflect class status and standard of living as they are largely influenced by the number of income earners and fail to recognize household size. It is therefore possible for a large, dual-earner, lower Pleb class household to out-earn a small, one-earner, upper middle class households.

The Plebeian class is very influential as they encompass the majority of voters, writers, teachers, journalists and editors. Most societal trends originate within the Plebeian class. Education is the primary factor of furthering one through the societal order, though because Plebs are not afforded the luxury of attending prestigious academies or universities, they fail to connect into the deep network of the upper class, which in itself is a trait of being a member of the Plebeian class.

Indigeni and Peregrini class

While not officially on the Class hierarchy, there exists two further lower rungs on the societal ladder. The first, Peregrini (foreigners), are non-citizens like expatriates or visitors. Constituting 13% of the population, they have no legal rights under Caphirian law, as their home countries are expected to care for them even if they have no home. Nevertheless, they often remain in Caphiria with the hopes of one day gaining citizenship. The second class, Indigeni (natives), are the natives who have been conquered by Caphiria. Most citizens view them as inferior to even other Sarpedonian races and, consequently, most of the country's racism is directed at them.

Those who do not hold citizenship are generally called peregrini as well, though the term is more specifically applied to non-citizens from a foreign land. Their reception in Caphiria has varied from time to time and today depends on dignitas. Although dignitas is a distinct Caphirian social concept, Caphirians have their own ways of judging a visitor's prestige and honor. Wealth is a major factor, as can be seen by the number of rich Kiravians who mingle with the Caphirian aristocracy but style is almost equally important. Caphirians love inviting interesting people to their dinner parties and social events. Therefore, a visitor from Urcea will catch the interest of citizens if he or she appears to display unique aspects of Urcean culture - something which is still unique and exotic in Caphiria.

Beneath even the bottom rung of the social ladder are the indigeni (natives). With about 8% of the population, their treatment serves as an example of how the Caphirians, despite their defenses of human rights, have great potential for ethnic chauvinism. Most are kept from leaving their home provinces by exorbitant transportation prices and are forced to pay about 20% of their income in the dreaded tributum (poll tax). Like peregrini, who are at least covered by their homeland, indigeni are not covered for education, healthcare or litigation.

Economic class

Stratification by economic class is less rigid than the social class but does not offer nearly as many legal or political advantages (or disadvantages). There are 8 distinct economic classes in Caphiria and while it is theoretically possible for an individual of any social class to exist in any economic class, they are almost exclusively linked together. The principle considerations for an individual's economic class are their adjusted gross income (AGI), educational history, and employment history.


(AGI: $12,024) These people are under-employed. They suffer from low education, low employability, and/or low income. Some can not work because of their age or disability. Hard times might be magnified because they belong to a minority group who suffers discrimination in the workforce. The underclass accounts for 7% of the population and holds only 0.61% of the total wealth in Caphiria.


(AGI: $23,720) The working poor class includes unskilled laborers, people in service jobs and some of the lower-paid factory workers. Income depends on the number of workers in the family and the number of weeks that they work. Many have not finished high school. Unable to save money and when retired the working poor depend heavily on their social security pensions to live. The working-poor class accounts for 14% of the population and holds 2.77% of wealth.

Working class

(AGI: $34,845) The core of this working class is made up of semi-skilled machine operators. Clerks and salespeople whose tasks are habitual and mechanized and require practically no skill beyond literacy. Brief on the job training can also be considered to be a part of this class. Standard of living varies depending on number of income earners, but is commonly just adequate. High school education. The working class accounts for 17% of the population and holds 2.84% of wealth.

Lower middle

(AGI: $46,767) To attain a lower middle class job it takes at least a core education diploma. However, many in the middle class have received some form of additional post secondary training. The most educated will become semi-professionals, or have low-level managerial jobs. Sales and craft people are also included, as well as semi-professionals and craftsmen with some work autonomy. The lower middle class is the largest, accounting for 22% of the population, but only holds 3.04% of total wealth.


(AGI:$106,262) The middle class of Caphiria are college-educated workers with considerably higher-than-average incomes and compensation; typical middle-class individuals are successful small business owners, mid-level managers in the service industry or in the corporate world, lawyers working in small partnerships, or general practitioners. The middle class provides an indispensable economic role in terms of invention and innovation, and provide several "unpaid" social services such as informal social work, public safety, a large variety of social experiences and personalized services, acquaintance networks, informal neighborhood news and gossip, a building block of social solidarity and public action, and (in the case of the smallholding peasantry) good stewardship of the land. The middle class accounts for 19% of the population and holds 12.9% of total wealth.

Upper Middle

(AGI:$245,517) The upper middle class is the group in society most shaped by formal education. A University or Academy degree is usually required and graduate studies are becoming increasingly required. Most people in this class are technicians, professionals, managers, officials, and highly successful small business owners. At the top of this class is the growing segment of working rich, affluent professionals and business owners. Children in core education strive to prepare themselves for upper middle class jobs because these type of jobs are symbols of success. Upper-middle-class people are able to purchase status symbols such as spacious homes. They are convinced that they deserve what they have achieved and are mostly satisfied with their place in life. The upper middle class is often the dominant group to shape society and bring social movements to the forefront. The upper middle class accounts for 13% of the population and holds 9.75% of total wealth.


(AGI:$518,900) The upper class of Caphiria consists of top-level executives, celebrities, and successful politicians. Their primary source of income consists of assets, investments, and capital gains rather than wages and salaries. The parents of upper class children go above and beyond to ensure their children will also be a member of the upper class when they grow up. Upper class parents enroll their children in prestigious preschools and children's school, core education schools, and private universities and Academies. Other occupations of the upper class are top executives, asset managers, law firm partners, professional athletes and celebrities, and highly compensated employees of investment banks. The upper class accounts for 6.5% of the population and accounts for 6.3% of total wealth.


(AGI:$1,258,171) The elite class of Caphiria are at the top of the economic class and wield a significant impact and influence on economy and society. Individuals from the elite class tend to contribute their money to political parties and are often owners of newspapers or television stations. They have investments that affect millions of people in the labor force. They tend to only associate with other people from their own class, rarely interacting with people from an inferior class. Even their children are usually segregated attending only the most elite preparatory schools and universities. Members of the elite class contain celebrities in cinema, music, sports, or entertainment, powerful executives/politicians, business magnates and oligarchs. The political leadership, the military circle, and the corporate elite are all part of the elite class. The elite class accounts for 2% of the population and holds a staggering 61.7% of all of the wealth in Caphiria.

Status (Dignitas)

Status (dignitas) is a person's prestige, social honor or popularity. More specifically, dignitas is the relative level of respect, honor, assumed competence, and deference accorded to people, groups, and organizations within Caphirian society. An individual's social status position may have both positive and negative influences; for example, a teacher may have positive dignitas (respect, prestige) which increases their standing but may earn little money, which simultaneously decreases their status.

Typically, dignitas is contained within two broad categories: birthright status and achieved status. Birthright status contains the rigid social designators that remain fixed throughout an individual's life and are inseparable from the positive or negative stereotypes that are linked with one's birthright status. Achieved status reflects personal skills, abilities, and efforts. It is the category of factors that a person can acquire on the basis of merit; it is a position that is earned or chosen. Many individuals' dignitas are a mixture of birthright and achieved status; for instance, a person who has achieved the status of being a physician is more likely to have the ascribed status of being born into a wealthy family.

Birthright status


The primary element of birthright status takes the form of the concept of Estates. In the broadest sense, an Estate is a family consisting of all those individuals who shared the same familial name (gens) and who claimed descent from a common ancestor. Much of individuals' social standing depended on the Estate to which they belonged. Estates are classified based on the class of the Ordo of the patriarch: Patrician, Equite, and Plebeian.

Historically, advancing the dignitas of ones Estate was uncommon and difficult; typically only nobility or Patricians could increase in status. Today, because the classification is based on the current patriarch, it is entirely possible and common for Estates to rise (or fall) down the classification system over time. In fact, Estates themselves are susceptible to the stratification system in the same way as an individual.

Achieved status


For an individual to hold a social position thoroughly and knowledgeably they must be trusted in the market and reflect it in their behavior. There is an element of trust necessary within society and for identifying with a particular social position - especially relevant to particular community positions where one's actions weigh heavily on one's social position.

Social capital

An individual's ability to gain access to powerful positions through the direct and indirect employment of social connections; this is a measurement of the level of Investment in social relations with expected returns in the marketplace. Social capital may also be an individual's association with the ability of individuals to live up to some set of ideals or principles regarded as important by the society or a subculture within it. This is known as a social group, the members of which interact mainly within their own group and to a lesser degree with those of higher or lower status.

Social groups may be tied between persons with the same personal income, between persons of the same sex and sexuality, between persons of the same political views/status, between persons of the same religion, between persons of the same ethnic/racial group, between persons born into the same economic group, or between persons who have similar levels of popularity.

Power (Potestas)

Power (Potestas) in the context of Caphiria's stratification system is defined as a citizen's "ability to do what they want despite resistance from others". According to Caphirian convention, there are two basic dimensions of power: the possession of power and the exercising of power. Unlike status and class, power is the least tangible concept within the stratification system.

Possession of power derives from the individual's ability to control various "social resources". These resources can be anything and everything: they might include land, capital, social respect, physical strength, and intellectual knowledge.The ability to exercise power takes a number of different forms, but all involve the idea that it means the ability to get your own way with others, regardless of their ability to resist you.

Possession of power is typically held in three groups: Economic Power, Social Power, and Political Power; The exercising of power is done through six groups: Coercive power, Reward power, Legitimate power, Referent power, Expert power, and Informational power.

Possession of power

Social Power

Social Power typically shows itself in the form of:

  1. endogamy or the restricted pattern of social intercourse,
  2. sharing of resources and other benefits within groups,
  3. status conventions or traditions, and
  4. monopolistic acquisition of certain economic opportunities or the avoidance of certain kinds of acquisitions

As an example, if you respect someone or view him as your social superior, then he will potentially be able to exercise power over you (since you will respond positively to his instructions / commands). In this respect, social status is a social resource simply because he may have it while you may not. Not all power, however entails social honor: an average middle-management employee or day trader might deliberately relinquish their social honor. Social power is analogous to social capital.

In this regard, social power is best seen and gained (or subsequently lost) within the corporate world or within relatively small social environments. A long-tenured employee with no ambition might have less social power than an ambitious young professional who is able to command attention and respect; conversely, an elder within a community will yield significantly more social power by virtue of the implicit trust and power they will have over their community compared to an individual who is obscure and untrusted.

Political Power

Political power is the ability to influence a decision-making process, even though you may not directly exercise that power personally. Political parties are the organizational means to possess power through the mechanism of the Imperium and they include not just formally organized parties, but any group that is organized to influence the way in which power is exercised legitimately through the machinery of the Imperium. This power can manifest itself directly (in the form of becoming a magistrate and holding public office) or indirectly (joining or creating a political party, supporting a candidate or magistrate that can aid you or your cause, or other methods of soft power). Political power is analogous to political capital

A combination of social and political power can be extremely effective in increasing an individual's power; the direction of interests may vary according to whether or not social action of a larger or smaller portion of those commonly affected by the class situation, or even an association among them, e.g., a trade union has grown out of an individual's social power, from which the individual may expect promising results for himself in regards to their political power. The degree in which "social action" and possibly associations emerge from the mass behavior of the members of a class is linked to general cultural conditions.

Economic Power

Economic power is intrinsically linked to social power and was a constituent of it until the 21st century with the rise of the post-industrial society. An individual's economic power does not necessarily represent their personal wealth; instead it is a measurement of an individual's ability and capability to influence the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy. This can be on any scale from locally to regionally to provincially to nationally or internationally.

An individual's economic power is typically examined by three economic factors: short term, medium term, and long term financial capital ability and capability.

Exercising of power

As mentioned above, there are six main concepts of power implementation. They are described as Coercive, Reward, Legitimate, Referent, Expert, and Informational. Additionally, source credibility has an explicit effect on the exercising of power used in persuasion. Source credibility, the exercising of power, and possession of power, which is established based on variables such as position or title, are interrelated. The levels of each have a direct relationship in the manipulation and levels of one another.

The exercising of power differs according to the manner in which social changes are implemented, the permanence of such changes, and the ways in which each basis of power is established and maintained. Each exercising of power has a positive and negative form and may have indirect and direct influences.

Coercive power

Coercive power uses the threat of force to gain compliance from another. Force may include physical, social, emotional, political, or economic means. Coercion is not always recognized by the target of influence. This type of power is based upon the idea of coercion. The main idea behind this concept is that someone is forced to do something that he/she does not desire to do. The main goal of coercion is compliance. Coercive power's influence is socially dependent on how the target relates to the change being desired by the influence agent. Furthermore, a person would have to be consistently watched by the influencing agent in order for the change to remain in effect.

An example of impersonal coercion relates a person's belief that the influencing agent has the real power to physically threaten, impose a monetary fine or dismiss an employee. Conversely, an example of personal coercion relates to a threat of rejection or the possibility of disapproval from a person whom is highly valued. The power of coercion has been proven to be related with punitive behavior that may be outside one's normal role expectations. However coercion has also been associated positively with generally punitive behavior and negatively associated to contingent reward behavior. This source of power can often lead to problems and in many circumstances it involves abuse. These type of leaders rely on the use of threats in their leadership style. Often the threats involve saying someone will be fired or demoted.

Reward power

Reward power is based on the right of some to offer or deny tangible, social, emotional, or spiritual rewards to others for doing what is wanted or expected of them. Some examples of reward power (positive reward) are: (a) a child is given a dollar for earning better grades; (b) a student is admitted into an honor society for excellent effort; (c) a retiree is praised and feted for lengthy service at a retirement party. Some examples of reward power (negative reward) are: (a) a driver is fined for illegal parking; (b) a teenager grounded for a week for misbehaving; (c) a rookie player is ridiculed for not following tradition; Some pitfalls can emerge when a too heavy reliance is placed on reward power; these include: (a) some people become fixated and too dependent on rewards to do even mundane activities; (b) too severe fears of punishment can immobilize some people; (c) as time passes, past rewards become insufficient to motivate or activate desired outcomes; and (d) negative rewards may be perverted into positive attention.

An example of impersonal reward relates to promises of promotions, money and rewards from various social areas and an example of personal reward relates to the reward of receiving approval from a desired person and building relationships with romantic partners.

Legitimate power

Legitimate power comes from an elected, selected, or appointed position of authority and may be underpinned by social norms. This power which means the ability to administer to another certain feelings of obligation or the notion of responsibility. "Rewarding and Punishing subordinates is generally seen as a legitimate part of the formal or appointed leadership role and most managerial positions in work organizations carry with them, some degree of expected reward and punishment." This type of formal power relies on position in an authority hierarchy. Occasionally, those possessing legitimate power fail to recognize they have it, and may begin to notice others going around them to accomplish their goals. Three bases of legitimate power are cultural values, acceptance of social structure, and designation. Cultural values comprise a general basis for legitimate power of one entity over another. Such legitimacy is conferred by others and this legitimacy can be revoked by the original granters, their designees, or their inheritors. Legitimate power originates from a target of influence accepting the power of the influencing agent whereas behavioral change or compliance occurs based on target's obligation. One who uses legitimate power may have a high need for power which is their motivator to use this base for change in behavior and influence. There may be a range of legitimate power.

Legitimate power is based on the social norm which requires people to be obedient to those who hold superior positions in a formal or informal social structure. Examples may include: a police officer's legitimacy to make arrests; a parent's legitimacy to restrict a child's activities. Some pitfalls can arise when too heavy reliance is placed on legitimate power; these include: (a) unexpected exigencies call for non-legitimized individuals to act in the absence of a legitimate authority – such as a citizen's arrest in the absence of a police official; and (b) military legitimacy. The legitimate power of reciprocity is based on the social norm of reciprocity which states how we feel obligated to do something in return for someone who does something beneficial for us. Legitimate power of equity is based on the social norm of equity (or compensatory damages); the social norm of equity makes people feel compelled to compensate someone who has suffered or worked hard. People traditionally obey the person with this power solely based on their role, position or title rather than the person specifically as a leader. Therefore, this type of power can easily be lost and the leader does not have his position or title anymore. This power is therefore not strong enough to be one's only form of influencing/persuading.

Referent power

Referent power is rooted in the affiliations an individual makes and/or the groups and organizations they belong to. An affiliation with a group and the beliefs of the group are shared to some degree. As Referent power emphasizes similarity, respect for an agent of influence superiority may be undermined by a target of influence. Use of this power base and its outcomes may be negative or positive. An agent for change motivated with a strong need for affiliation and concern of likeability will prefer this power base and will influence their leadership style. Ingratiation or flattery and sense of community may be used by an agent of influence to enhance their influence.

Referent power in a positive form utilizes the shared personal connection or shared belief between the influencing agent and target with the intention of positively correlated actions of the target. In its negative form, Referent power produces actions in opposition to the intent of the influencing agent, this is the result from the agent's creation of cognitive dissonance between the referent influencing agent and the target's perception of that influence. It is important to distinguish between referent power and other bases of social power involving control or conformity.

Referent power acts a little like role model power: it depends on respecting, liking, and holding another individual in high esteem and it usually develops over a long period of time. Referent power is often regarded as admiration, or charm. The responsibility involved is heavy and the power easily lost, but when combined with other forms of power it can be very useful. Referent power is commonly seen in political and military figures, although celebrities often have this as well.

Expert power

Expert power is based on what one knows, experience, and special skills or talents. Expertise can be demonstrated by reputation, credentials certifying expertise, and actions. The effectiveness and impacts of the Expert power base may be negative or positive. As a consequence of the expert power or knowledge, a leader is able to convince their subordinates to trust them. The expertise does not have to be genuine – it is the perception of expertise that provides the power base. When individuals perceive or assume that a person possesses superior skills or abilities, they award power to that person.

Expert power in a positive form influences the target to act accordingly as instructed by the expert, based on the assumption of the expert's correct knowledge. In its negative form, it can result from a person acting in opposition to the experts instructions if the target feels that the expert has personal gain motives. Some examples include: (a) a violinist demonstrating through audition skill with music; (b) a professor submits school transcripts to demonstrate discipline expertise; (c) a bricklayer relies on 20+ years of experience to prove expertise. Some pitfalls can emerge when too heavy a reliance is made on expertise; these include: (a) sometimes inferences are made suggesting expertise is wider in scope than it actually is; for example, an expert in antique vases may have little expertise in antique lamps; (b) one's expertise is not everlasting; for example, a physician who fails to keep up with medical technology and advances may lose expertise; and (c) expertise does not necessarily carry with it common sense or ethical judgement.

Informational power

Informational power is the ability of an agent of influence to bring about change through the resource of information. Informational influence results in cognition and acceptance by the target of influence. The ability for altered behavior initiated through information rather than a specific change agent is called socially independent change. In order to establish Information Power, an agent of influence would likely provide a baseline of information to a target of influence to lay the groundwork in order to be effective with future persuasion. A link between informational power, control, cooperation, and satisfaction have been hypothesized and tested in a lab study. The findings indicate that a channel member's control over another's strategy increases with its informational power source; Informational power is commonly referred to as the most transitory type of power. If one gives information away, then the power is given away, which differs from other forms of power because it's grounded in what you know about the content of a specific situation; other forms of power are independent of the content. Information power comes as a result of possessing knowledge that others need or want.

In the age of Information technology, information power is increasingly relevant as an abundance of information is readily available. There may be a cost-benefit analysis by an agent of influence to determine if Information Power or influence is the best strategy. Possessing information is not, typically, the vital act; it is what one can and does do or potentially can do with the information that typically is of vital importance. Information can, and often is, used as a weapon as in a divorce, a child custody case, business dissolution, or in civil suits discoveries. Information has been used by some to extort action, utterance, agreement, or settlement by others. Information power is a form of personal or collective power that is based on controlling information needed by others in order to reach an important goal. Modern society is now reliant on information power as knowledge for influence, decision making, credibility, and control. Timely and relevant information delivered on demand can be the most influential way to acquire power. Information may be readily available through public records, research, and but information is sometimes assumed privileged or confidential. The target of influence accepts,comprehends and internalizes the change independently, without have to go back to the influencing agent.

Informational power is based on the potential to utilize information. Providing rational arguments, using information to persuade others, using facts and manipulating information can create a power base. How information is used – sharing it with others, limiting it to key people, keeping it secret from key people, organizing it, increasing it, or even falsifying it – can create a shift in power within a group.