Powerful people are more black and white and dole out more severe punishments

Posted on under Today's research

People put into a position of power become more black and white, more judgemental, are more convinced of their own righteousness and more likely to punish others more severely for any transgressions against their sense of what is right. The research by Stanford researchers was published in the current edition of the Academy of Management Journal. What’s more, people with power over others are quicker and more diligent in punishing what they see as ‘bad’ behaviour than in rewarding ‘good’ behaviour. It seems that when people are promoted to managerial—or partnership—positions they lose what the  researchers call ‘a healthy sense of doubt’ about their own moral clarity. This, they say is one of the factors that leads to poor leadership and decision-making.

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/umso-ppi011713.php