Does Being Powerful, Intoxicated or Anonymous Break Down Your Inhibitions?

When you know no one knows you... it really does make you act differently.

ScienceDaily (June 22, 2011) Powerful, Intoxicated, Anonymous: The Paradox of the Disinhibited

Power can lead to great acts of altruism, but also corruptive, unethical behavior. Being intoxicated can lead to a first date, or a bar brawl. And the mask of anonymity can encourage one individual to let a stranger know they have toilet paper stuck to their shoe, whereas another may post salacious photos online. What is the common thread between these three disparate states?

A forthcoming article from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University presents a new model that explains how the diverse domains of power, alcohol intoxication and anonymity produce similarly paradoxical social behaviors — for better or worse.

According to the researchers, all three states work to break down inhibitions in a person, thus triggering the most prominent response in any given situation regardless of the consequences. As a result, alcohol, power, and anonymity can all inspire heroism and hedonism in the same person depending on the context.

(See the original article here)

Also see What Happens to those Who Feel Their Success is Undeserved?, Are Powerful Women Just as Likely to Have Affairs?, What is the “Illusion of Truth” Effect? and What Makes People Powerful?

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