Study: Assholes Are Better Paid in the Workplace

via the Independent,

Study:  Assholes Are Better Paid in the Workplace


“A study has found that a person’s “agreeableness” has a negative effect on their earnings. “Niceness”, according to the research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, does not appear to pay.


The study, by Beth A Livingston of Cornell University, Timothy A Judge of the University of Notre Dame and Charlice Hurst of the University of Western Ontario, interviewed 9,000 people who entered the labour force in the past decade about their career, and gave personality tests which were then measured against income data.

The findings are bad news for nice guys, but worse still for women of all temperaments. They show that, regardless of their levels of agreeableness, women earned nearly 14 per cent less than men. Agreeable men earned an average of $7,000 (£4,490) less than their disagreeable peers.”

the rest of the artlicle:  or

This story is getting very little attention.  What are they afraid of, a revolt of the nice people?

Here’s another take from

Here’s a link to a .pdf of the article absract:–JPSPInPress.pdf or

Ah, I see through this search that the story broke in mid-August 2011 and was reported on several mainstream outlets: or:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=758cb952fb43a8f2&biw=1366&bih=566


One Response to “Study: Assholes Are Better Paid in the Workplace”

  1. It doesn’t surprise me. Two things come to mind.

    1. Nice people probably negotiate less hard for salary, and walk away for a better job less often. Don’t want to be too disagreeable.

    2. Nice people don’t look for the advantages that can be had by stepping on others.

    Our society really is geared on the expectation that everybody will be selfish, and most of the time that’s a very safe expectation.

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