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The Price of Stress: Diminished Integrity

From the bottomless well of anxiety among U.S. adults–America is the most anxious nation in the world, according to the World Health Organization–comes a new hazard: In addition to being less healthy and worse at negotiating (PDF), stressed-out adults are also more likely to make unethical decisions in the workplace, new research finds.

For an article that will be published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Sreedhari Desai, a professor at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and Maryam Kouchaki, of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, conducted six studies in which they made some test subjects feel anxious, whether by asking them to listen to the theme song from Psycho (instead of some soothing Handel), showing video of a mountain-climbing accident in Vertical Limit (vs. watching Planet Earth), or having them read about research that found nicotine in many toothpaste brands (instead of learning about a relatively humdrum industrial development project). The subjects who were made to feel anxious were more likely to say they’d be OK with doing things like stealing office materials, lying in a report, or using confidential information that’d been accidentally left behind to advance their own careers.

via You Stole Those Paper Clips Because You Were Stressed Out – Businessweek.

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