Hard Workers are the Least-Liked People in Every Office

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Thomas Barwick

NewsFeed prides ourselves on being well-liked around the TIME offices for our bright smiles, hilarious jokes and — wait, what?

According to studies by Washington State University, hard-working, unselfish people who are always glad to lend a hand turn out to be hated by their coworkers. The research, brutally titled “The Desire to Expel Unselfish Members of the Group” in the current issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that when given the option to kick one member out of collaborating groups, people often chose to kick out their altruistic partners.

Researchers Craig Parks and Asako Stone speculated that the hatred was due to hardworking members raising expectations for the whole group.

“What is objectively good, you see as subjectively bad,” Parks explained. Oh, humans!

In the study, college students were put into groups and given the option of switching points for meal vouchers. The more points they gave up, they were told, the greater the possibility that the group would win a cash prize. After the rounds of exchanging, participants said that they would not want to work with students who swapped a lot of points for a small amount of meal vouchers — in other words, the most unselfish players. (They also, understandably, had negative reactions to the most selfish players.)

So, worried about staying on your coworkers’ good sides? Certainly do your job well, but also do it quietly. (via ScienceDaily)

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