|Two Dollar Angry Bear|
Philip Miles at Lawffice Space has a nice post about a Notre Dame study which showed that agreeableness was negatively correlated with income. In other words, mean people, especially mean guys seem to end up getting paid more than nice people who tend to finish last. Miles muses about whether nice will become a protected class. But I don't know, while they are getting paid better, the study also found that less agreeable people were more likely to have been fired. Miles also posted a clip of a local news spot with on the street reporting in none other than Fort Worth, Texas (Cowtown Diner is featured).
The study, Do Nice Guys – and Gals – Really Finish Last? The Joint Effects of Sex and Agreeableness, largely focuses on gender as a factor in the agreeableness pay differential, with the pay gap between low agreeable men and high agreeable men being larger than the gap between low agreeable and high agreeable women. Both the gender specific and nongender specific aspects are interesting.
The study mentions, among others this possible explanation for the gap:
...because people low in agreeableness do not prize smooth interpersonal interactions as a basic goal and, in fact, value competition, they may be more likely to behave in ways that advance their interests relative to others.It mentions some research about which employees are more likely to positively challenge the status quo:
There is evidence that, although people high in agreeableness engage in more altruistic behaviors at work (LePine & van Dyne, 2001; Ilies, Scott, & Judge, 2006), they are less likely to enact voice behaviors that constructively challenge existing practice (LePine & van Dyne, 2001).Some slightly disturbing (if not surprising) research about how anger and being critical of others helps in climbing:
Amabile and Glazebrook (1982) found that people who were highly critical of others were rated as more competent than those offering favorable evaluations.
...in an experimental study, Tieden (2001) found that people recommended a higher-status position and higher pay for job applicants who expressed anger—a display that is more likely among disagreeable people (Jensen-Campbell, Knack, Waldrip, & Campbell, 2007; Meier & Robinson, 2004)Of note:
agreeable individuals were slightly less likely to have been fired from their job (β = -.08, p < .05)In my quick skim, I didn't see the direct comparison of agreeableness between men and women- all of the comparisons seemed to be normalized.