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Study: Perpetually outraged people are unproductive and virtue signalers aren’t good citizens

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These days, people are making a hobby out of expressing online that they’re offended by everything. But don’t expect these people to be very productive. A recent study conducted by Dr. Jeremy Berneth, a professor at San Diego University, revealed that people who find themselves easily offended make terrible employees and can’t get anything done. Berneth studied about 400 employees whose average age was 25.9. They were asked about various aspects that got substantial media attention in the recent past.

“17 items developed to assess the proclivity to be offended, eight moral outrage items, 11 microaggression items, and nine political correctness items” were part of the study. It was revealed that some people tend to have a higher “proclivity to be offended” (PTBO), which generally means “a state-like tendency to be sensitive to customarily innocuous societal events and traditions.”

The study further found that people with a high PTBO score tend to “view an array of events and/or traditions as offensive” and “are likely to feel that social events or traditions to which they take offense also violate moral or equitable standards.”

Berneth, through the study, says that people who get triggered and offended easily tend to perform poorly as they are often worried about trivial matters and would also tend to believe that the organization they are working for may be unfair. The mental energy that is to be invested in the tasks related to their work profile is generally spent worrying about things that hold little importance.

Here’s another interesting finding: “PTBO negatively correlated with task performance and positively correlated with counterproductive work behaviors, suggesting not only that these individuals engage in fewer citizenship behaviors but also engage in behaviors managers and organizations want their employees to avoid.”

The study notes that people who get offended easily are generally under the belief that they are trying to help others; but in reality, they were also found to engage the least in “citizenship behavior” (being a good citizen) and actually helping others when they’re in need. In other words, virtue signaling online doesn’t translate to real-world action. Quite the opposite.

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