[ExI] experiment regarding ethical behaviors vs status

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon Mar 26 22:16:27 UTC 2012

Feeling you have power over other people may cause various cognitive 


It makes your ethical thinking more rule based than outcome biased, 
moves your thinking towards a more abstract level and increases 
stereotyping of other people. Power-primed people more often assumed 
other people had the same information as they did (the "telepathic boss" 
problem), and were less good at judging emotional expression.

Note that 'feeling' is the operative word: in the studies analysing 
this, the bias was activated by writing a one page essay about "a time 
when I held power over other people".

So here is my counter-theory: maybe bad behavior from drivers of 
expensive cars is partially due to the car itself acting as a power-cue.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list