Recently, Shakib Al Hasan, a famous Bangladeshi cricketer and ex-captain, made headlines not for his sports achievements but for slapping a fan after winning the elections. Although the video shows him getting pushed by a fan, the reason for the physical assault is not fathomable. Such instances make us wonder about the psychological factors driving those in power to occasionally act aggressively. Let’s deeply dive into the complex interplay of authority and behavior.

Psychology of Power

Shakib Al Hasan slap a fan

Impact on Behavior

There is an old saying,” Don’t let the power go to your head.” Holding a position of power can significantly alter one’s behavior. It often leads to increased confidence, but sometimes, it can create a sense of entitlement and reduced empathy towards others. Psychological studies suggest that power can alter a person’s perception of their actions and make them, in a way, delusional, making them less sensitive to how they affect others.

Invincibility/ No one can touch me

No one can touch me

Power often brings a sense of invulnerability and overconfidence. Influential individuals might believe they are above the rules of society and everyone else. This feeling of invincibility can lead them to act impulsively and aggressively, believing their status will protect them from the consequences.

What does Psychiatry say about aggression and power show

Theory of Social Learning

This theory states that individuals learn behavior through observation and imitation. We see, learn, and act; influential figures who have observed their predecessors or compatriots acting aggressively might replicate this behavior, assuming it’s acceptable or effective.

Stress and Aggression

Stress and Aggression

The pressure cooker effect. Holding power can be challenging. It comes with immense pressure and never-ending stress. This constant pressure environment can lead to frustration, manifesting as aggressive behavior. Stress-induced aggression is a well-documented psychological phenomenon.

Social and Environmental Factors

Cultural Aspects

The individual’s cultural background plays a crucial role in shaping their behavior. In some cultures, aggression is a sign of strength, especially in leadership roles. This cultural influence can sometimes justify and even encourage aggressive behavior in influential individuals.

Role of Supporters and Enablers

The supporters and sycophants surrounding a powerful individual greatly influence their behavior. If supporters or enablers encourage aggressive behavior, it might reinforce the idea that such actions are acceptable and laudable. Conversely, a supportive, less delusional circle promoting empathy and rationality can curb aggressive tendencies.

Case Studies and Historical Examples

Throughout history, there have been enumerable instances where leaders, under the influence of power, have exhibited aggressive behavior. For example, historical conquerors often resorted to aggression as a tool for control and dominance, influenced by the era’s norms and their immediate council. In corporate company settings, top-level executives sometimes exhibit aggressive behavior and often rationalize it by stating that it is part of the job. These examples highlight how power can influence behavior across different contexts.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Self-Awareness and Introspection:

Two critical steps in managing power responsibly are self-awareness and critique. Awareness of one’s actions and their impact on others can help influential individuals avoid aggressive behavior. Regular self-reflection is crucial in this journey.

Learn Stress Management Techniques

Effective stress management can mitigate the risk of stress-induced aggression. Techniques such as yoga, mindfulness, physical exercise, and work-life balance can benefit everyone.

Counseling and Psychological Support Play an Important Role:

Sometimes, the smart way to deal with the pressures of power and position is to seek professional help. Counseling and psychological support can help influential individuals manage their stress, understand their emotions, and react more wisely to challenging situations.


Understanding the psychological basis of why individuals in power might act aggressively is crucial. It helps develop strategies to prevent such behaviors and promotes a healthier, more empathetic workplace environment. This understanding is also essential for the public, fostering a more informed perception of leaders and their actions.