The Psychology Of Power

Also known as the paradox of power

“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
-President Woodrow Wilson in his book the “The New Freedom” published in 1913

Power can be anything. Whether you are running a country or running a family you are in power. I Strongly believe that power can take over someone’s brain and make them believe they are more than they are. Power can influence people to make bad decisions as they believe that they are invincible.Power can make people believe that they are better than other people. i strongly believe and think that their is a lot of proof that power corrupts people.

By giving someone power or someone believing that they have power makes them believe the they are more important than other people and they soon forget there morals.Some examples of power in people are bullying as it is someone believing that their life is more important that another and they think that that gives them the right to treat another life badly. Another example of power affecting many people is a democracy . This power does not always bring good to the country, for example Russia. Russia is very corrupted, and is massively influenced by the power of Vladimir Putin. 

The Stanford prison experiment is where the guards have power over the prisoners and is strong evidence to show that power corrupts all morals in the brain. I was shocked my this experiment. The fact that the guards can forget all of their morals because they have been given power. The experiment was originally set up to study the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. after 36 hours one prisoner went ‘crazy’,It was meant to last for two weeks but was shut down after six days .I thought what was most interesting in this is that the guards had to wear reflective sunglasses, this made them seem less humanized.

This happen in modern day prisoners where prisoners are abused because the guards have power over them and can control them so they abuse this power.Because the guards do not know the prisoners, to them they are just numbers that have obviously done something wrong to be in the prison they take it as them deserving to be abused and dehumanizing them.

Steven Lukes is the author of power:a radical view.His ideas are that power can affect the way that people make decisions. He states that there are three dimensions of power, decision, non decision making and manipulating desires.

Everyone ,yes you and me,has an element of power whether it is over siblings or pets. Most people just live with this power but some people can abuse it. Whether this is by bossing siblings, training pets to be dangerous or by abusing a partner or family member but these are abnormal circumstances.

The Government is believed to be very dangerous in some peoples minds understandably as they have the power to do many dangerous things. The government also have the power to do dangerous things and get away with them which makes them even more dangerous.

When somebody has power or believes that they have power they will take on a sort of superman complex where they believe that they cannot be injured or hurt as they think that because of there power people will fear them.

Overall i agree with what Zimarbdo (a social psychologist in the Stanford prison experiment) says. He says that evil is the exercise of power which can be proven by the evidence i have put forward.

Power is easily abused and some people find it very easy to cross the line of being manipulative and being ‘evil’.I think that the term of ‘power going to your head’ is very realistic as it can take over your brain and hypnotize you to make you believe that you are something that you are not.

So don’t abuse your power!

If you would like anymore information on this topic i recommend watching the psychology of power documentary 


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