“In study after study, we’re seeing that power makes you more impulsive. It makes you less worried about social conventions and less concerned about the effect of your actions on others,” said Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkley.
One of Keltner’s experiments, for example, found that people who see themselves as wealthier were more likely to cut pedestrians off on a crosswalk. Another found that those who felt powerful were even more likely to take candy from children. Other experiments have shown that powerful people become more focused on themselves, more likely to objectify others and more likely to overestimate how much others like them.
“It becomes a kind of solipsism. You think what’s inside your head is true about the world around you,” Keltner said. “Someone like Harvey Weinstein may think ‘I’m so horny right now, so the whole world must feel that way.’”