Nice Guys Get Paid Less - 21 September 2011 - Welcome - Dien Dan Saigontech - Saigontech Forum
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Main » 2011 » September » 21 » Nice Guys Get Paid Less
9:24 AM
Nice Guys Get Paid Less

Most of us discovered pretty early that life isn’t always fair, but that doesn’t mean the reality of injustice can’t surprise you again and again. Take a new study on pay and personality, for example. It reveals that "agreeable men,” or nice guys in everyday language, earn 18 percent less than jerks.

Using three different, large data sets, researchers from Cornell, Notre Dame and Western Ontario compared the earning of people who rated themselves as more or less agreeable. What makes a person agreeable? Study co-author Beth Livingston recently explained the quality to NPR :

Agreeableness is a complex personality trait and it really encompasses people who are kinder, more trusting, more cooperative. And those who are more disagreeable tend to be more competitive, arrogant, manipulative and they tend to value their relationships less than those who are agreeable.

The analysis revealed that despite general agreement that working with jerks is painful and demoralizing , arrogant and overbearing men still get paid more — 18 percent or $9,772 more to be exact. The difference in pay for more and less agreeable women was much smaller, just 5 percent or $1,828.

"Nice guys do not necessarily finish last, but they do finish a distant second in terms of earnings. Yet, seen from the perspective of gender equity, even the nice guys seem to be making out quite well relative to either agreeable or disagreeable women,” the study concludes.

So what’s behind this impulse to pay aggressive men more? Livingston explained that she believes our changing conception of capitalism might be to blame:

I think that, in capitalism, there’s the idea that the competitive, harsh, blunt person wins. They’re the ones who can close the deal and they can be uncompromising. And I’ve seen this develop quite substantially, I would say, over the past 20 years since I’ve been working on Wall Street.

In the early days, you would see people try to build consensus, but now, you find that people say, it’s either my way or no way. This is the deal I want. Take it or leave it. And they walk away from the table…. The final study that we did was fascinating, in that we used college students who tend to be more egalitarian at this time in their lives, than, kind of, older workers. And we found that, as long as we described a worker as being less trusting and more arrogant, they tended to say those people needed to be the managers and the other people didn’t, and it was fascinating.

Our idea of business as all out war requiring uncompromising toughness might account for the pay gap between jerks and the rest of us, but does the study suggest that we should all nurture our office meanie to get ahead ? For women obviously there’s not much payoff in upping your aggressiveness, but even for men coming across as the office jerk may eventually cost you more that its worth  — at least if you value your mental health as well as your net worth.

"Agreeable people tend to be more satisfied with their lives and have a higher quality of their relationships,” Livingston says. "And I think that, in our society, sometimes we think about money trumping all, especially in this time of, really, economic crisis.” That’s usually a mistake both for managers rewarding aggression with higher pay and for those struggling to get ahead at work.


Source: Bnet

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