advertisement
advertisement

Why You Should Want To Work With Someone Who Brags

When it comes to teamwork, turns out you are better off working with someone with high levels of hubris instead of happiness.

Why You Should Want To Work With Someone Who Brags
[Image: M. Rehemtulla via Flickr user QUOI Media Group

Working on a big team project? Find the coworker that loves to brag.

advertisement
advertisement

Findings from a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggest that pride isn’t all that bad.

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, examined the effect of self-worth on performance in collaborative tasks.

First, participants were assigned essay topics: One group wrote about a time they felt proud of themselves, while the other wrote about a fun memory. A control group did neither.

They were then asked to play a fishing game, where they caught 13 to 17 fish for every 60 attempts. They were led to believe this was a team effort–that another person was fishing in their “pond,” also trying to land as many fish as possible. The catch: If the pond was over-fished, both players would lose everything.

You’d think the confidence-boosted essayist would hoard as many fish as they could, regardless of consequence, right?

Surprisingly, the participants who wrote about a pride-filled anecdote threw back more fish, to avoid depleting the population too much. Those who wrote about a joyful time returned no more or less than the control group.

advertisement

Pride, we’re taught to believe, is a negative emotion–preceding a fall, if the adage holds–and a self-confident person is seen as oil in water when it comes to teamwork. Humility is lauded as the better personality trait. This study’s experiment show the opposite: Give people something to boast about, and the emotion can be a positive force.

You might not want “Mr. Wonderful”-level arrogance on your team, but a little self-confidence is a good thing. Teammates can brag on their ability to succeed together.

Hat tip: Pacific Standard

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Freelance tech, science and culture writer. Find Sam on the Internet: @samleecole.

More