Dana Carney, a professor at Columbia University, conducted an experiment intended to discover whether “leaders” and “subordinates” experience the same physiological response to lying. She found that power not only makes lying easier, but pleasurable.
Professor Carney speculates that authority could have a similar impact on other unethical behavior with similar physiological responses, such as cheating, stealing, exploitation, reckless behavior and even political corruption. She concludes, “Power will lead to increases in intensity and frequency of lying.”Read more »
For those interested in the science behind authoritarian sociopathy no studies are more poignant, or more chilling in their ramification than the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. But their sentiment was perhaps best expressed by Thomas Jefferson in an often overlooked passage of the Declaration of Independence:
“All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”Read more »
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