Good guys versus bad guys: who makes the most money?

From the old Ebenezer Scrooge of Charles Dickens to the raw Seraphine Baudrier the countrysideFrom Harbagon Molière’s Greed to Tyranny, Mr. Burns SimpsonsRich figures who are part of popular culture are rarely the most admired. If stories of all kinds take us back to this idea that wealth and evil are linked, how far beyond fiction is this? Do we choose between money and kindness?

Consent and personal funds

Before delving into the financial condition of nations, it is still necessary to define what kindness is. It is often synonymous with kindness. According to the theory your palm ‘, which defines human personality in five major individual factors, a person with a high level of compatibility is generally warm, helpful and caring. But does this socially desirable attitude go hand in hand with desirable financial behaviors?

Several recent studies have found that so-called “nice” people are more likely to have financial problems, including more debt, more defaults, lower credit scores, and less savings. why ? Two researchers – fromColumbia University in New York and University College London wanted to understand the elements of acceptable personality that lead to these difficulties.

Will the accepted people be deprived of their dealings because of their cooperative negotiation style, which leads them to make fewer demands and more concessions?

Do they place a lower intrinsic value on material goods and money?


To find answers to these questions, researchers collected and analyzed data from more than three million British and American participants.

They did not observe a relationship between cute people’s trading style and their financial results. In fact, even if compatibility turns out to have a noticeable effect on their way of negotiating, the cooperative style of negotiation does not appear to have repercussions on the participants’ personal finances. If the good guys have more financial problems, it is not because they are bad negotiators or they are more likely to be exploited by others.

In contrast, acceptance had a clear direct effect on the participants’ subjective value for money. The low importance they attached to it, in turn, had a major direct effect on their savings. Researchers have noted that nice people care less about money and are therefore more likely to mismanage it.

We also wanted to evaluate moderate effects, since kindness does not seem to affect everyone in the same way. According to the results, Nice people with a high enough income will suffer less from mismanaging money, because they have more resources and a better financial safety net to compensate.

The researchers also measured the link over time between kindness and money. So they relied on data from a longitudinal study (the British Cohort Study) where participants’ compatibility was first assessed in 1986, when they were 16 or 17 years old. This metric was then used to predict their financial results in 2012, when they turn 42. Once again, the link between cuteness and financial hardship has been maintained ever since The most agreeable participants in adolescence inevitably experienced greater financial hardship 25 years later.

If the link between compatibility and financial problems seemed clear on an individual level, the researchers wanted to see if the effect could be felt in an area. Here again, the areas where the population was considered the most pleasant and where the average income was lowest were also those in which the bankruptcy rate was the highest. Thus, the geographies with the highest degree of kindness were also those that had a 50% higher bankruptcy rate.

Disadvantaged Gentiles

So the researchers’ work shows that there is indeed a link between kindness (or kindness) and financial hardship. These difficulties can be seen in credit rating, savings, debt and insolvency rates, mainly because, for those called “nice” individuals, money will not be a priority. Across all arms of the study, compatibility was the only personality trait your palm »Systically linked to financial difficulties.

money or people

With these findings, the researchers note that although the combination of matching with lower income leads to the worst financial outcomes, it is also possible that it works in the opposite direction. In fact, financial difficulties combined with low socioeconomic status can increase a person’s level of acceptance. People from lower socioeconomic groups tend to prioritize society over money. Social relationships (not money) will be their main support when faced with a difficult situation. Thus, being agreeable leads to less focus on money, but less focus on money can also lead to shifting to others and being more accepting.

Of course, such a complex and multifaceted phenomenon as financial hardship can only be identified by a few personality predictors, but the fact remains that being nice does seem to have a financial cost. It remains to be seen if we are a good or bad character of the story…

Primary source: Matz, Sandra C., Ph.D., Columbia Business School and Joe J. Gladstone, Ph.D., University College London, School of Management. Nice Guys Finally End: When and Why Compatibility Is Associated with Economic Distress, Journal of personality and social psychologyOctober 11, 2018.

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