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After a year of outrage at MPs' dodgy expenses and extortionate bank bonuses, it is a maxim few of us will need convincing about.
But psychologists have proven the obvious - that nothing corrupts quite like power.
Researchers found that those in authority are more likely to cheat, lie and feather their own nests than ordinary citizens at the bottom of the pile.At the same time, the powerful are more likely to pass moral judgment on the behaviour of others.
The psychologists behind the study said they were astonished at the scale of 'moral hypocrisy' they found and how easily ordinary-people become corrupted when given the trappings of power