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That's an interesting study, but I don't think it actually contradicts what I was saying. Specifically:

Much ritual and protocol is focused on making the powerless feel more powerful than they really are. This makes them a lot less likely to rock the boat. At the same time reinforces the comfortable illusion among the powerful that they are simply exercising power by reference to principles, thus (partly) absolving them of the personal responsibility for the consequences of their exercise of power.

Both of these effects (that the illusion of power where none exists would make people more conformist, and that the powerful justify their actions by reference to formal rules and protocol) seem to be reflected in this abstract (with the caveat that I haven't read the full paper).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 06:11:04 AM EST
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