What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Power Does Not Corrupt. It Frees.

July 14, 2013, 1:57 PM
Power

What's the Latest Development?

We all know that power seems seems to result in corruption, but new research suggests that the principle effect of power is not to corrupt but to free. Joe Magee, a professor of management at New York University who researches power, said: "What power does is that it liberates the true self to emerge. More of us walk around with kinds of social norms; we work in groups that exert all pressures on us to conform. Once you get into a position of power, then you can be whoever you are." Among the behavioral changes that result from gaining power are a reduction in the awareness of constraints and a quickening in the decision making process.

What's the Big Idea?

More important than the effect power has on its beholder is the person's intentions, outlook and values. That power corrupts tells us more about the person who holds it than about an indelible nature of power. Pamela Smith, a power researcher at the University of California San Diego, said: "There is a tendency for people to assume power holders are uncaring, they're cold, they don't care about the little people. You put someone in an experiment, temporarily, in a high-powered role, and what you find is that people who say they have pro-social values, the more power they have, the more pro-social they are. The people who say they have more self-centered values tend to be more selfish the more power they have."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic 

 

Power Does Not Corrupt. It ...

Newsletter: Share: