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Modern, open and democratic societies are supposed to reward brains and hard work with success, at least somewhat fairly.
But what if failure degrades brainpower, creating a vicious loop in which success slips inexorably further away for an unlucky group that started out worse off?
Powerless people often achieve less because lack of power itself erodes cognitive functioning, researchers say.
A group of researchers claims this may be exactly what happens, so rosy views on the benefits of advanced societies must be reappraised as simplistic.
“Powerless people often achieve less because lacking power itself fundamentally alters cognitive functioning,” wrote the scientists in a paper describing their research findings.