'Nice people paid less' claims study

IT has long been argued that the good guys don't get the girls, but now it has emerged that being nice also means you also earn less money.

James Hore

IT has long been argued that the good guys don't get the girls, but now it has emerged that being nice also means you also earn less money.

That was the conclusion from one of the most detailed studies ever undertaken into the relationship between personality and pay.

Researchers at Essex University have just published the findings, which show nicer people are, on average, paid less.


You may also want to watch:


And it seems that even being conscientious does not provide any reward either.

Dr Cheti Nicoletti and Dr Alita Nandi used the British Household Panel Survey to look at nearly 3,000 men aged between 24 and 64 living and working throughout the UK.

Most Read

By using information on people's personality traits, known as the “big-five” - openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, they classified people into different personality groups.

Their research showed people who were nice earned about 6% less money than those who were the opposite.

People with a high degree of neuroticism also receive less whereas extroverts and those “open to experience” were paid the best, taking home 9% more than those who were not judged to be open.

Dr Nicoletti said: “The results clearly show that agreeableness and neuroticism are penalized in the workplace while extroversion is rewarded.

“There seems to be a sticky floor effect for highly neurotic people and highly introvert people.

“Our findings also suggest that emotional stability and extroversion are personality traits better rewarded in low paid occupations.”

However, the team, based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, said they did not want to encourage the development of certain personality traits as their results were only relevant in the workplace, not in meaningful aspects of life.

Dr Nandi added: “For example, while agreeableness is penalised in the labour market, it may make a person more socially acceptable, increase her social networks and finally lead to better mental health and well-being.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus