We’ve all heard the expression, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The common wisdom is that the more power a person accumulates, the more they feel justified in their actions and motivations. “I can do what I want, because after all, why else would I have this kind of power?”
But can research show a cause-and-effect relationship? Can an experiment demonstrate the slippery moral slope that people with power have also increases their moral hypocrisy (e.g., a failure to follow one’s own expressed moral rules and principles)?
Psychology to the rescue! Indeed it can. In a series of five experiments by Lammers et al. (2010), Dutch researchers tested the following hypothesis on college students…
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