The 12.30.2009 ScienceDaily.com article Why Powerful People -- Many of Whom Take a Moral High Ground -- Don't Practice What They Preach, begins by saying: “2009 may well be remembered for its scandal-ridden headlines, from admissions of extramarital affairs by governors and senators, to corporate executives flying private jets while cutting employee benefits, and most recently, to a mysterious early morning car crash in Florida.”
The article continues, “The past year has been marked by a series of moral transgressions by powerful figures in political, business and celebrity circles.”
For instance, in two widely publicized cases of powerful men not acting as they publicly preached, Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty in the first quarter of 2009 for operating a multi-billion U.S. dollar Ponzi scheme that is considered one of the largest fraud cases in U.S. history; and, later in the year, Tiger Woods was exposed to having a lengthy series of mistresses while being married, while publicly professing to be a happily married family man.
Based on the seemingly endless moral transgressions brought to the forefront of news reporting from the actions of often-times-less-than-moral leaders and powerful people of our world, researchers from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A.) and Tilburg University (the Netherlands) decided to find out if people in power have tendencies to show a moralistic public face but, in reality, perform less-than moralistic deeds and actions.
The researchers included Drs. Joris Lammers and Diederik A. Stapel (both from Tilburg University, the Netherlands) and Dr. Adam Galinsky (from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A.).
The summary of their research will be published in a future issue of the journal Psychological Science, which is a publication of the Association for Psychological Science.
Page two describes the study of power and hypocrisy made by the three researchers.