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7.03.2017

Surreal .your brain on power.

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This is your brain on power, writes Jerry Useem:
Subjects under the influence of power, [the UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner] found in studies spanning two decades, acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, crucially, less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view.
Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University, in Ontario, recently described something similar. Unlike Keltner, who studies behaviors, Obhi studies brains. And when he put the heads of the powerful and the not-so-powerful under a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine, he found that power, in fact, impairs a specific neural process, “mirroring,” that may be a cornerstone of empathy. Which gives a neurological basis to what Keltner has termed the “power paradox”: Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.
Keep reading here about how power causes brain damage, and go here for insight into how some powerful hypocrites rationalize their inconsistencies.

This is a depressing finding. Knowledge is supposed to be power. But what good is knowing that power deprives you of knowledge?

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