‘People need not worry about power corrupting Obama’

December 2nd, 2008 - 1:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaLondon, Dec 2 (IANS) People need not worry about power corrupting US president-elect Barack Obama, an American research has suggested.”Our research suggests that people may not need to worry too much about power corrupting Obama,” according to Joe Magee of New York University, who collaborated in the study.

“His newfound power might enable the change he desires rather than that power changing him instead. This is contrary to what most people think: that the longer he works in Washington the more he will be influenced by the same old ways of doing things,” Magee added.

This is specially relevant with the January inauguration of the president-elect and how he responds to the advice, influence, and criticism of his advisors, cabinet members, media, and other political leaders as he takes office.

“Although power is often perceived as the capacity to influence others, this research examines whether power protects people from influence,” said Adam Galinsky, professor at Kellogg School, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who led the study.

“Although power is often thought of as a pernicious force that corrupts people who possess it, it is the protection from situational influence that helps powerful individuals surmount social obstacles and express the seemingly unpopular ideas of today that transform into the ideals of tomorrow,” Galinsky concluded.

Through a series of five experiments, the researchers sought to find whether the powerful are immune to influence in various situations, according to a Northwestern release.

Others who collaborated in the study were Joe Magee of New York University; Deborah Gruenfeld of Stanford University; Jennifer Whitson of the University of Texas (Austin); and Katie Liljenquist of Brigham Young University.

These findings were published in the December issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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