Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sad Workers May Make Better Workers

Date:
June 14, 2001
Source:
University Of Alberta
Summary:
In the past few decades, the popular belief in the area of organizational behaviour and organizational psychology has been that happy workers are better workers. However, new research at the University of Alberta shows that sad workers are more productive.

In the past few decades, the popular belief in the area of organizational behaviour and organizational psychology has been that happy workers are better workers. However, new research at the University of Alberta shows that sad workers are more productive.

Psychologist Dr. Robert Sinclair and his former PhD student Carrie Lavis recently conducted a series of four studies addressing the effects of experimentally induced happiness versus sadness on work productivity by asking the participants to build circuit boards. In the first study, sad people committed significantly fewer errors than did happy people (approximately half the number of errors) but there was no difference in the number of boards completed. Thus, sad people were more productive.

In similar studies Sinclair and Lavis found the same results along with evidence that happy people might not devote as much energy to the task in order to maintain their happy moods-they perceived that task as something that might detract from their present feelings. Conversely, sad people appeared to be devoting energy to the task in order to distract themselves from their sad feelings.

"It is important to know that the moods were unrelated to the task," said Sinclair. "Unhappiness is coming from something else."

These findings are not surprising, said Sinclair, since there has been a growing body of literature in the area of social psychology demonstrating that sad moods lead to more contemplation and, often, more thoughtful or accurate judgments.

In Sinclair's subsequent studies, when people believed that the task would make them feel good, they devoted more energy to the job. The bottom line, said Sinclair, is that it is important for organizations to take into account the emotions of their employees. It seems it could be beneficial to creating situations that lead people to believe that performing their jobs will cause them to feel good: this could cause increases in motivation and superior performance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Alberta. "Sad Workers May Make Better Workers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065304.htm>.
University Of Alberta. (2001, June 14). Sad Workers May Make Better Workers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065304.htm
University Of Alberta. "Sad Workers May Make Better Workers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065304.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins