Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Being paranoid about office politics can make you a target

Date:
July 31, 2012
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
A new study reveals that paranoia about negative gossip or being snubbed leads people to seek out information to confirm their fears, ultimately annoying colleague and increasing the likelihood they will be rejected or subverted.

People who worry about workplace rejection or sabotage can end up bringing it upon themselves, according to University of British Columbia research.

Related Articles


The UBC Sauder School of Business study reveals that paranoia about negative gossip or being snubbed leads people to seek out information to confirm their fears, ultimately annoying colleague and increasing the likelihood they will be rejected or subverted.

"It may be best to ignore impulses that tell you that you're the victim of office politics," says lead author and Sauder Prof. Karl Aquino, whose study was recently published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Prof. Aquino explains that it's natural for people to wonder how others view them, especially when social acceptance in the workplace is often rewarded with power and financial compensation.

"However, our research shows employees should do their best to keep their interactions positive and ignore the negative. As the expression goes, kill them with kindness."

In one of the study's experiments, the researchers discovered that people who more readily interpret interactions with others as negative are also more likely to try to root it out through such means such as eavesdropping or spying.

Another experiment showed that individuals who reported wanting information about unfair treatment within a group were more likely to have angered their group members and be the focus of rejection.

A third experiment measured study participants' comfort level with a co-worker who is worried about unfair treatment as compared to other types of employees. Rather than be saddled with a worrywart, participants were 3.5 times more likely to choose individuals who demanded feedback on work quality. Participants were 16.5 times more likely to prefer working with others keen to get information on work group dynamics as a whole.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer Carson Marr, Stefan Thau, Karl Aquino, Laurie J. Barclay. Do I want to know? How the motivation to acquire relationship-threatening information in groups contributes to paranoid thought, suspicion behavior, and social rejection. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2012; 117 (2): 285 DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.11.003

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Being paranoid about office politics can make you a target." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120731135008.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2012, July 31). Being paranoid about office politics can make you a target. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120731135008.htm
University of British Columbia. "Being paranoid about office politics can make you a target." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120731135008.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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