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Just when we were starting to accept that pretty people made all the money, we get hit with yet another study. First, we were told that attractive people are paid $230,000 more over a lifetime based solely upon appearance and not experience. If that wasn’t depressing enough, a more recently published study is saying that people who are ruder make more.

Does this sound crazy to you?

The study, titled “Do Nice Guys — and Gals — Really Finish Last ?” looked at data compiled from around 10,000 workers over nearly 20 years, drawing on three surveys that sampled a range of ages and professions. The study’s findings are pretty clear — Researchers examined “agreeableness” using self-reported survey data and found that ruder women earned about 5% or $1,828 more than their agreeable counterparts.

Does that mean we should all go to work and tell our bosses what we really think about our jobs? Eh, probably not. But, I think it’s important to at least know what the study meant by “agreeableness.” The authors are careful to explain what exactly constitutes “disagreeable.” Rather than a raving psychopath, a disagreeable person is “more likely than people high in trait agreeableness to behave disagreeably in certain situations by, for instance, aggressively advocating for their position during conflicts (van de Vliert & Euwema, 2004).”

With that being said, I can’t help but wonder if a woman being more aggressive and assertive is being taken for “rudeness.”


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