This is in interesting study on lying from Columbia University Business School but my favorite part is the definition of power: control over others’ social or monetary outcomes and always accompanied by feelings of power. That’s good.
In a nutshell, this study analyzed whether having power, whether earned or granted, enhances people’s ability to lie. The answer was indeed yes. Not surprising to most of us, but the physiological aspects are what is most interesting. Those in power during the study were “buffered from the negative effect of lying.” They didn’t show as much stress and reacted quicker than those not in power.
The study ends by asking the question — “if powerful people can lie without suffering consequences, are they prone to lie more?”
I think we all know the answer there as well. Of course, not all powerful people are liars, but the Mount Everest of evidence showing that those in power will lie without regard for repercussions is everywhere. Just say a couple of names: Madoff, Clinton, Simpson. The lie is the story. And being in a position of power over others makes it easier.