By Susanne Gargiulo
CNN October 24, 2013
“Thinking Business” focuses on the psychology of getting ahead in the workplace by exploring techniques to boost employee performance, increase creativity and productivity.
(CNN) — We all know the story. Someone gets promoted at work and suddenly they change — they start forgetting their previous peers or turning into bullies.
As it turns out, it may be in our wiring.
In one of the first studies to make this claim, scientists now say a default brain mechanism may cause us to lose empathy when we gain power.
“This research is important because it opens the door to examining what power does to us,” says Sukhvinder Obhi, senior author of the study at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. “We have very little understanding of how power affects the brain, both in terms of the neural causes and consequences.”
Specifically, the study showed that when you put people in a state where they feel more powerful, their sensitivity to other people dropped, including their ability to put themselves in other peoples shoes.
Phi Beta Iota: This would only be news in a stupid media outlet accustomed to doling out drivel. The indigenous peoples have known for centuries that the only accountable power is that which is collective, consensual, and transparent. Power also makes you stupid, as Daniel Ellsberg lectured Henry Kissinger in the 1970’s. Power that permit isolation from accountability and reality leads to statements such as that by Henry Kissinger, now a matter of public record: “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” Power can be exercised in the public interest, or in the selfish interest. Anytime power goes behind closed doors without authentic checks and balances, it inevitably becomes evil and costly to the public.