Rethinking workplace dynamics: New study challenges conventional views on anger as career driver in the US

United States: Taking the role of an aggressive overachiever in the workplace will not win you any extra points, current research has proven.

Previous research supports the opinion that workers who demonstrate anger are regarded as competent and have a higher status than they observed.

However, the results from new studies reverse the findings of the previous ones, scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Princeton University suggest, as reported by the Associated Press.

Changing Perspectives on Anger

“We found that anger isn’t a catalyst for higher status in the workplace,” said researcher Roni Porat, a senior lecturer of political science and international relations at the Hebrew University.

“Moreover, we found that anger is regarded more poorly than other emotional expressions like sadness,” Porat said in a university news release. “The only instance in which anger is considered as positive is when it is expressed in response to another person’s clear wrongdoing. These findings hold for both men and women expressing anger in the workplace.”

The results of the study indicate that people consider people who scowl or express anger to be of higher status, so scientists have concluded.

Nevertheless, they do not recognize anger as a resource because they find it neither appropriate nor warm. Results show they also find it to be too much, cold, an overreaction, and ineffective.

Prejudice Against Anger Expression

Apart from this, researchers have found that people display a lot of prejudice against anger expression in the workplace. Thus, it was more disadvantageous, mad, and useless than other emotions.

The researcher’s emotions, including anger and sadness, were manipulated in four experiments.

Experimental Approach and Varied Contexts

Researchers experimentally changed people’s expressions of emotion at work, such as melancholy and rage, in four different investigations, as reported by the Associated Press.

The experiments switched between men and women as the person conveying the feeling.

“This is important, given some work demonstrating that women are penalized for expressing anger while men are rewarded,” Porat noted.

The studies also varied the stimuli the emotion was being directed at: another person or a set of circumstances, for example, were used, as well as the context of the emotion: job interview or a water cooler.

Representation for workplace

The researchers later asked participants to select how much authority, respect, and independence the employee who is invested with the emotion deserves in their organization. The participants have also proposed how much wage per annum they will pay the employee, as reported by AP.

It is interesting to see that in this result, gender does not affect the person’s response to an angry expression.