Navigation Links
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged?

EVANSTON, Ill., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- 2009 may well be remembered for its scandal-ridden headlines, from admissions of extramarital affairs by governors and senators, to corporate executives flying private jets while cutting employee benefits, and most recently, to a mysterious early morning car crash in Florida. The past year has been marked by a series of moral transgressions by powerful figures in political, business and celebrity circles. New research from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University explores why powerful people - many of whom take a moral high ground - don't practice what they preach.

In "Power Increases Hypocrisy: Moralizing in Reasoning, Immunity and Behavior," researchers sought to determine whether power inspires hypocrisy, the tendency to hold high standards for others while performing morally suspect behaviors oneself. The research finds that power makes people stricter in moral judgment of others - while being less strict of their own behavior.

The research was conducted by Joris Lammers and Diederik A. Stapel of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and by Adam Galinsky of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. The article will appear in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science.

"This research is especially relevant to the biggest scandals of 2009, as we look back on how private behavior often contradicted the public stance of particular individuals in power," said Galinsky, the Morris and Alice Kaplan Professor of Ethics and Decision in Management at the Kellogg School. "For instance, we saw some politicians use public funds for private benefits while calling for smaller government, or have extramarital affairs while advocating family values. Similarly, we witnessed CEOs of major financial institutions accepting executive bonuses while simultaneously asking for government bailout money on behalf of their companies."

"According to our research, power and influence can cause a severe disconnect between public judgment and private behavior, and as a result, the powerful are stricter in their judgment of others while being more lenient toward their own actions," he continued.

To simulate an experience of power, the researchers assigned roles of high-power and low-power positions to a group of study participants. Some were assigned the role of prime minister and others civil servant. The participants were then presented with moral dilemmas related to breaking traffic rules, declaring taxes, and returning a stolen bike.

Through a series of five experiments, the researchers examined the impact of power on moral hypocrisy. For example, in one experiment the "powerful" participants condemned the cheating of others while cheating more themselves. High-power participants also tended to condemn over-reporting of travel expenses. But, when given a chance to cheat on a dice game to win lottery tickets (played alone in the privacy of a cubicle), the powerful people reported winning a higher amount of lottery tickets than did low-power participants.

Three additional experiments further examined the degree to which powerful people accept their own moral transgressions versus those committed by others. In all cases, those assigned to high-power roles showed significant moral hypocrisy by more strictly judging others for speeding, dodging taxes and keeping a stolen bike, while finding it more acceptable to engage in these behaviors themselves.

Galinsky noted that moral hypocrisy has its greatest impact among people who are legitimately powerful. In contrast, a fifth experiment demonstrated that people who don't feel personally entitled to their power are actually harder on themselves than they are on others, which is a phenomenon the researchers dubbed "hypercrisy." The tendency to be harder on the self than on others also characterized the powerless in multiple studies.

"Ultimately, patterns of hypocrisy and hypercrisy perpetuate social inequality. The powerful impose rules and restraints on others while disregarding these restraints for themselves, whereas the powerless collaborate in reproducing social inequality because they don't feel the same entitlement," Galinsky concluded.

    Meg Washburn
    Kellogg School of Management

SOURCE Kellogg School of Management

SOURCE Kellogg School of Management
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Judge Rules That Florida Disease Management Program Serving 8,000 HIV/AIDS Patients Should Be Re-bid, Says AIDS Healthcare Foundation
2. Fauquier Health System Holds a Food Show with a Twist Long Term Care Patients Hold the Judges Pen as Vendors Vie for Approval
3. Mass. Judge Denies Request by Breastfeeding Mother for More Break Time on Medical Licensing Exam
4. NBME Appeals Massachusetts Judges Reversal of Lower Court in Suit for Extra Break Time During Medical Licensing Exam
5. Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro: Judge Orders Double Damages, Issues Stinging Rebuke in Average Wholesale Price Case
6. Mums Go Online to Avoid Judgement
7. Federal Judge Says Sugar Association Suit Accusing Johnson & Johnson of False Advertising to Go Forward
8. Judge Rules Texas Mutual Insurance Co. Committed Litigation Fraud With Falsified Document, According to Doyle Raizner LLP
9. What are simple ways to judge the efficacy of 5-fluorouracil in colonic neoplasm?
10. Virginia Judge Rules Medical Device Pioneer Committed Malpractice
11. Study shows physician judgement important in reducing RSV-related hospitalizations
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... it deems a growing epidemic as deaths from prescription opioids in the United States ... heroin and cocaine. In 2013 alone, opioids were involved in 37 percent of all ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point Rehabilitation, a holistic treatment ... video interviews with some of the staff members at their recovery center. The videos ... as well as some of the things that make their recovery program so unique. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PALMYRA, Wis (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... Process scholarship award at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CU-KC), in Overland Park, ... scholarship from Chiropractor and University President Carl S. Cleveland III on October 16. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.Y. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Autism ... Tuesday, the global movement driven by social media and the generosity of people around ... then encourage their social media networks to give – and share the personal stories ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... of patented products, announces Fragrance by Marcelle, a cosmetic invention which offers a ... & Fragrance Manufacturing Market in the US is worth $3 billion annually," says ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Avery Biomedical Devices (ABD), manufacturer ... announce the appointment of Anders Jonzon , MD; ... Dr. Jonzon is a Physiologist ... Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala and Children,s Hospital, Karolinska, ... a fellow at the Cardiovascular Institute (UCSF). His research ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ASDS ... of Directors has declared a special 1 percent stock dividend ... payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record December 7, ... additional shares of common stock. --> ... a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s growth strategy ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 ...  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 th , ... present its revolutionary whole body CZT digital SPECT/CT solution at the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: