Bargain-hunting Customers see Shop Assistants as Less than Human

Everyone loves a bargain, but new research suggests some employees may be getting short-changed when it comes to how consumers perceive them when they are being price-conscious.

The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, found that bargain-hunters who adopt a “price-conscious mentality”—meaning their main goal is to save money and get the cheapest deal—tend to see employees who they interact with as less human.… [read more]

Machine Learning will Change all Our Jobs

An interesting story appeared in the BBC News Online Business section. It featured a new report from the UK Institute for Public Policy Research which says that automation will not take all of our jobs, but will enormously increase wage inequality.… [read more]

Our behavior is still shaped by the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution of 200 years ago, powered by coal and steam engines, and laid the foundations of modern society. World-first research by a number of universities has found its effects are still felt and not in a good way.

What the researchers say: The Industrial Revolution casts a long shadow with former coal-mining and manufacturing communities in the UK the US still struggling.… [read more]

Being treated unfairly at work leads to illness

Staff who feel they are treated unfairly at work are at increased risk of being off sick more frequently and for longer, according to new research by a team from a number of universities in Europe and the US.

What the researchers say: Increasingly important contributing factors to mental and physical illness—and therefore sick leave—are found in the work environment.… [read more]

Depression, burnout and low quality of life.

Human stress is simply a result of our modern society forcing us to try and exceed our genetic design specs. We are simply not designed to live in a materialistic unequal society and work in the ways and for the long hours that we do.… [read more]

The desire to share wealth has nothing to do with fairness

In a new study, researchers found support for the theory that redistribution is a function of compassion, self-interest, and envy—but not fairness.

What the researchers say: Economic redistribution has been a core political dispute around the world for centuries. And while intuitively fairness seems a natural explanation for why people support redistribution, the researchers found that fairness doesn’t really explain who supports redistribution or why.… [read more]

Brands can tempt us to lie, cheat and steal

While many people consider themselves generally moral and honest, even the most upstanding citizens will likely become willing to lie, cheat and steal under certain circumstances, according to evidence from a new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

What the researchers say: If consumers believe that a company is harmful in some way—to the environment or to people – then they feel justified participating in illegal activities, such as shoplifting, piracy or hacking, according to findings in the study.… [read more]

Empowering workers can cause uncertainty and resentment

Attempts by managers to empower staff by delegating different work to them or asking for their opinions can be detrimental to employee productivity, research shows. On the face of it this finding goes against current conventional wisdom.

What the researchers say: Giving employees more authority can have a negative impact on their day to day performance and perhaps give the impression that their boss is just seeking to avoid doing their own work, according to the study.… [read more]