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Author Topic: Jonah Lehrer on The Psychology of Power  (Read 3049 times)

mouser

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Jonah Lehrer on The Psychology of Power
« on: August 15, 2010, 06:46:40 AM »
I've posted links to blog essays by Jonah Lehrer before, and i maintain he is possibly the best popular science of psychology writer around today on the web.

He moved from his own blog to Wired recently, and the move doesn't seem to have slowed him down at all.  Today's essay on "The Psychology of Power" is worth reading.

Nothing revolutionary in the article, but it's worth reading.

Basically it argues that some of us have got it backwards with regards to how we get bad leaders. Jonah suggests that organizations tend to promote kind and conscientious people, and weed out the really selfish ones (contrary to the thinking of many of us that only the cut-throat Machiavellis make their way to the top).  But that it's the very act of having power and responsibility that tends to lead good people to going astray.  I guess that's the age old "power corrupts" thing.  Worth reading, especially if you are one of those good people who may find themselves in a position of some authority and think "i could never act that way."

Quote
Psychologists refer to this as the paradox of power. The very traits that helped leaders accumulate control in the first place all but disappear once they rise to power. Instead of being polite, honest and outgoing, they become impulsive, reckless and rude... Although people almost always know the right thing to do—cheating is wrong—their sense of power makes it easier to rationalize away the ethical lapse.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 06:48:45 AM by mouser »

cmpm

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Re: Jonah Lehrer on The Psychology of Power
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 11:08:26 AM »
Interesting, and true of Power.

Someone has to decide issues-the one with the Power.
Can it be done with putting everyone on the same level?

I mean the one with the power was once without it.
But they forget, and make decisions in light of their own interests.
And not the lives that are affected, of which they were at one time.

Compromising on ethics and morals have it's affect.
And becomes the normal standard.
Leading to the series of man made disasters, seen today and yesterdays.

Speak up and try to change things, you get a target on your back.

cmpm

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Re: Jonah Lehrer on The Psychology of Power
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 01:05:28 PM »
sorry if that's off topic
reminds me of where I work....

J-Mac

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Re: Jonah Lehrer on The Psychology of Power
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 11:43:06 PM »
cmpm, sounds like you are definitely not the one with power at work!

Jim