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If You’re Stressed at Work, Don’t Blame Your Employer, Says Study

How we feel at work is more a reflection of how we deal with responsibility, says Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

What’s the Latest Development?

Should you feel stressed at work, a new study published in the scientific journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decisions suggests that environmental factors at your place of business are not necessarily what is causing your constricted feelings. Led by Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, the research followed some 600 twins and concluded that genetic factors are about four times as important as shared environmental circumstances when it comes to personality, stress and health. 

What’s the Big Idea?

One of Judge’s most important conclusions is that stress levels, as reported by individual employees, are not objective measurements of how demanding a particular job is. When asking ourselves if our job is too stressful, we must also ask whether our disposition tends toward being stressed. “The battle of nature vs. nurture shows that even at work, nature wins. Changing a job to free yourself of stress is probably not going to do the trick unless you appreciate your own predispositions toward stress.” Up to a point, how you feel at work is a reflection of how you deal with responsibility, says Judge. 

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