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Polarizing power is basically an atom's ability to distort or effect an electron cloud around another atom. Ions have the highest polarizing power because they contain strong charges that have a high potential to distort other atoms. A smaller atomic radius means and a higher ion charge are usually characteristics of an atom with high polarizing power.
To be more specific, cations (positively charged ions) have high polarizing power. Anions would not have high polarizing power because they would not pull electron clouds as they are negatively charged. You typically refer to cations in terms of the polarizing power and anions in terms of their polarizability.
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