Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwing You Under the Bus: High Power People Knowingly Harm Others When Offered Small Incentives 

Jessica Swanner & Denise Beike 
Basic and Applied Social Psychology, September/October 2015, Pages 294-302 

Abstract: The potentially exploitative effects of power and incentive were examined. In the study, 250 participants heard a confederate admit or deny a misdeed and were pressured by the experimenter to inform on the confederate, sometimes in exchange for a small reward. The majority of participants knowingly falsely informed on the confederate when put in a position of high power and offered an incentive. Participants truthfully informed on the confederate regardless of power or incentive. Results are interpreted in light of social psychological theories of social power, which suggest that harmful opportunism is a likely but not inevitable effect of empowerment.


Tom said...

The study suggests "that harmful opportunism is a likely ... effect of empowerment." So... beware of empowerment.

Anonymous said...

Lynn? Don? They're playing your song.

Tom said...

Is it normal for papers like this to be subject to editing?

An abstract is a very terse version of the paper, no? In THIS abstract, the authors spent four words to describe something as "likely but not inevitable". What do they think the word "likely" means?