Why People Work More than They Need To, Choosing Stress Over Leisure

Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that many people are willing to work more hours than are needed to do their jobs, even though it results in a more stressful life. 

What's the Latest?


Researchers at the University of Chicago have found--perhaps it's no surprise given the struggling economy--that many people are willing to work more hours than are needed to do their jobs, even though it results in a more stressful life. In part one of an experiment, subjects were given the choice of listening to pleasant music (representing leisure) and listening to shrill noise (representing work). When subjects listened to noise, they earned pieces of chocolate. In part two, they got to eat the chocolate. But most individuals were willing to sacrifice the pleasant music to accumulate more chocolate than they could physically eat in part two.

What's the Big Idea?

The phenomenon of working for more than you need, and being aware of the added stress that comes as a result, is called "over earning" by scientists. Most common among the upper levels of white-collar workers, over earning is thought to be a relic of our evolutionary past when working too much and earning too much were not of real concern. "To earn and accumulate as much as possible was a functional heuristic for survival," they write. "Individuals did not need to worry about earning too much, because they could not earn too much." The researchers compared the phenomenon to over eating, which is a relatively recent problem as well. 

Read more at Business Insider

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less