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Culture & Religion

Nice Guys Earn Less Money

Studies show that more agreeable men and women are less likely to be put in management positions and earn less money than their bristly colleagues. Why are we biased against kindness?

What’s the Latest Development?

A new study shows that ‘agreeableness’ correlates negatively with how much money men earn. According to Notre Dame researchers, ‘agreeableness’ is a combination of trust, straightforwardness, compliance, altruism, modesty and tender-mindedness. Men who were found less agreeable were not sociopaths or maniacs but they were willing to aggressively advocate for their position during conflicts. The difference in pay was stunning: agreeable men earned an average of $7,000 less than their bristly peers.

What’s the Big Idea?

Why do we allow nice guys to finish last? What is it about aggressive personalities that we find worthy of financial reward? “Although agreeable people are less likely to get fired, and are just as likely to supervise others, they appear far less effective at negotiating pay increases, thus suggesting that the main financial benefit of disagreeableness is a willingness to stubbornly fight for what’s wanted, even if it makes others uncomfortable.” When it comes to romance, however, studies show kindness is the most important trait.


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