STUDY: Cynical people make less money

A cave troll from The Lord of the Rings. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Being cynical about others may have a negative effect on your income, according to research by psychologists.

Previous studies have associated cynicism with poor physical health and psychological well-being.

The latest research has established an association between cynicism and economic success, says Olga Stavrova at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology, University of Cologne, Germany.

One reason for these findings could be that cynical people are less likely to trust others and therefore are less cooperative.

They are more likely to suspect mean motives behind behaviour, might be less likely to join collaborative efforts and may avoid asking for help.

“For example, employees who believe others to be exploitative and dishonest are likely to avoid collaborative projects and to forgo the related opportunities,” says Stavrova.

And cynics might be likely to over-invest resources in protecting themselves — covering their backs.

The study is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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