This research suggests that we'd all be better off if politicians and the super rich had less power.

New research by Scott Wiltermuth, a USC Marshall School of Business assistant professor of management and organization, and co-author Francis Flynn of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, found that providing a sense of power to someone instills a black-and-white sense of right and wrong (especially wrong). Once armed with this moral clarity, powerful people then perceive wrongdoing with much less ambiguity than people lacking this power, and punish apparent wrong-doers with more severity than people without power would. [emphasis mine]

Power's Punishing Impact: Power Linked to Tendency to Punish Harshly

It also suggests to me that practices such as gerrymandering, which givepoliticians unassailable positions of power, create a unique moral hazard to a country's leadership.

Tags: black and white morality, power

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