Apparently, the high school standards for popularity stick around even as we cross into adulthood. At least that’s what a new study conducted by associate professor of management at Michigan State University, Brent Scott, indicated. The small study surveyed 114 employees at a healthcare facility and asked them about their experiences with cruel behavior at work. This included how often coworkers acted rudely, said hurtful things, or made fun of them. People who did not know the participants were then shown digital photos of the participants and judged them on attractiveness. When these two surveys were combined with other factors such as age, gender, and length of employment, it became clear that a person’s level of attractiveness was the largest factor in determining how much he or she is bullied in the workplace. Seriously, people?
Fear not, there is good news! The study also asked spouses, partners, and friends to complete questionnaires about how friendly or agreeable the employees were. This part of the study revealed that nice people are more likely to be treated nicely by coworkers and rude or unfriendly employees were more likely to experience rude behavior in return. So even though the physical judgment of high school lives on in the workplace, the “Golden Rule” of kindergarten does, too.