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Psychiatry and politicians – afterword: Commentary on … Psychiatry and politicians

  • Lord David Owen (a1)
Summary

Contempt is one of the more important signs of hubris syndrome. Lying to Parliament or the courts is often a sign of someone in thrall to hubris. In business and banking, collective or corporate hubris is not uncommon as is hubris syndrome among its most powerful leaders. BP, RBS and HBOS need to be the subject of serious case studies for hubris, ‘group think’, tunnel vision, closed minds or silo thinking. There are indications of a neurobiological explanation for the intoxication of power in hubris syndrome.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Lord David Owen (lordowen@gotadsl.co.uk)
Footnotes
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See special article, pp. 140–145, and commentary, pp. 148–150, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Russell, G. The psychiatry of politicians: the ‘hubris syndrome’. Psychiatrist 2010; 35: 140145.
2 Owen, D. Time to Declare: Second Innings. Politicos, 2009.
3 Ronningstam, EF. Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality. Oxford University Press, 2005.
4 Lyall, S. In BP's record, a history of boldness and costly blunders. The New York Times 2010; 12 July.
5 Browne v. Associated Newspapers [2007] EWCA Civ 295 (http://www.legalday.co.uk/judgments/browne_v_associated_newspapers_appeal_030407.htm).
6 Fortson, D. There will be blood. Sunday Times 2010; 20 June.
7 Tett, G. Fool's Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe. Abacus, 2010.
8 Babiak, P, Hare, RD. Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work. ReganBooks, 2006.
9 Oswald, A. Crowd behaviour cries out for intervention (letter). Financial Times 2009; 5 March.
10 Owen, D, Davidson, J. Hubris syndrome: an acquired personality disorder? A study of US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers over the last 100 years. Brain 2009; 132: 1396–406.
11 Cools, R, Sheridan, M, Jacobs, E, D'Esposito, M. Impulsive personality predicts dopamine-dependent changes in frontostriatal activity during component processes of working memory. J Neuroscience 2007; 27: 5506–14.
12 Lidstone, SC, Schulzer, M, Dinelle, K, Mak, E, Sossi, V, Ruth, TJ, et al. Effects of expectation on placebo-induced dopamine release in Parkinson's disease. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010; 67: 857–65.
13 Coates, JM, Gurnell, M, Sarnyal, Z. From molecule to market: steroid hormones and financial risk-taking. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2010; 365: 331–43.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatry and politicians – afterword: Commentary on … Psychiatry and politicians

  • Lord David Owen (a1)
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