…the findings from these experiments …point to a strong conclusion: people in positions of power who do not perceive themselves as competent are far more likely to aggressively lash out against others. The result is ironic, because we typically think of those who attain power as being especially competent – how else can they get so far? But what this study suggests is that power may enhance self critique of competence, and the more someone questions whether they really have what it takes to be in power, the more threatened they’ll feel by any number of situations and people, and aggression too often follows.
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