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Study Shows Nice Guys Don't Finish Last After All

Shout out to all the good guys out there.
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"Nice guys finish last" is something that's always uttered, but whether it is or isn't true has been unproven—until now. A new study says being a selfish jerk doesn't get you ahead. 

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The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says nice guys don't finish last based on research that tracked "disagreeable people" from the time they graduated college to where they got to 14 years later.

"I was surprised by the consistency of the findings. No matter the individual or the context, disagreeableness did not give people an advantage in the competition for power—even in more cutthroat, 'dog-eat-dog' organizational cultures," says co-author Cameron Anderson.

As expected, however, jerks do get positions of power. "The bad news here is that organizations do place disagreeable individuals in charge just as often as agreeable people," Anderson said. "In other words, they allow jerks to gain power at the same rate as anyone else, even though jerks in power can do serious damage to the organization."

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But, what exactly makes one a jerk? "Disagreeableness is a relatively stable aspect of personality that involves the tendency to behave in quarrelsome, cold, callous, and selfish ways," the researchers explained.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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