Case in point: search committees. I have yet to be on a search committee where we treated candidates with anything resembling humane consideration. We'd eliminate folks in the first round who were CLEARLY unqualified for the position in the ad, but not tell them until after the job was accepted by someone else, not because we were evil, but because of some vague concern over legality and keeping options open and the paperwork in not batch-sending responses. It's not because we're evil, I don't think. It's something else.
Case in point: any other committee. When have you been on a committee when the people on it did anything without constant reminders and support from the chair? Read important materials in advance. Remember where the meeting is. Etc.
So...is this a deficit? Or learned helplessness? Or something else? Or is the theory unsupportable?