Your Bosses Really Don't Care If You Don't Invite Them to Office Happy Hours, Study Says
A new study conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley says that people in positions of authority -- whether at home or in the workplace -- are quicker to recover from mild rejection. In fact, they seem to keep coming back for more.
Maya Kuehn, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley, and her fellow researchers conducted five experiments examining power dynamics in the workplace and in intimate relationships. Specifically, they looked at how power influences a person's response to subtle acts of rejection.
Here's what they found:
The study relied on 445 men and women between the ages of 18 and 82 who were assigned either high-or low-level positions in a workplace. Those specimens were then told they hadn't been invited to a happy hour gathering for the office. Low-level employees in this group reported feeling "stung" by this diss, while the high-powered folks remained pretty much unfazed. And why should they care when they make (a lot) more money?
In another experiment, participants were told they would be working with someone in either a supervisory or a subordinate role. After connecting with that person, they received feedback that could be perceived as a snub, according to the study. Those who had been assigned supervisory roles acted with indifference to said snubs from their underlings. On the other spectrum, subordinates took offense to comparable barbs from their bosses. Makes sense, considering your boss is the one to hire and fire you.
In any event, our advice to the employed: Don't test this study around the office.