Important psychological studies

Through energy, they are easily corrupted.

There is a psychological reason behind the fact that often, those in control behave with a sense of entitlement and resentment towards others. A study published in Psychological Review in 2003 put students in groups of three together to write a short paper. Two students were instructed to write the paper, while the other was instructed to assess the paper and determine how much each student would be paid. A scientist held a tray of five cookies amid their study. Although the last cookie has generally never been eaten, the “boss” almost always ate the fourth cookie— and sloppily ate it, open the mouth.

We are always trying to justify our experiences and make sense to us.

Anyone who has taken a freshmen Psych 101 course is familiar with cognitive dissonance, a concept that is focused on disharmonious and mutually contradictory assumptions which human beings have a natural propensity to escape emotional confrontation. Psychologist Leon Festinger asked participants to perform a series of dull tasks for an hour, such as turning pegs in a wooden knob, in a frequently cited experiment in 1959. They were then paid either $1 or $20 to claim that the assignment was very important to a “waiting investigator” (aka a researcher).

Those paying to cheat for $1 found the activities more fun than those paid for $20. Their ending? Those who were paying more believed they had enough reason to perform the rote task for an hour, but those who were paid just $1 felt the need to explain the time they spent (and reduce the level of dissonance in their beliefs and behavior) by saying the exercise was enjoyable. In other words, they usually say lies to make the world look more rational, more harmonious.   

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