Men are more competitive than women: study shows that men are more likely than women to sabotage their opponents because they fear someone will do it to them first
- Men were found more willing to & # 39; reduce the performance of their competitors & # 39;
- Because they "overestimate" the threat against them and choose sabotage
- Women, on the other hand, realistically assess the level of sabotage and sabotage less
Men are more likely than women to sabotage an opponent in a competition because they fear someone will do it to them, according to one study.
Competition was found to cause unethical behavior in both sexes in a trial, but one was faster to resort to sabotage than the other.
Men were less reserved about paying to reduce the performance of the person they were facing.
And the researchers found this because they subconsciously underestimated the likelihood of it happening to them, while women accurately estimated the risk.
Men overestimated the threat of sabotage against them, leading them to sabotage more
In the experiment, by researchers at the University of Bonn, Germany, participants were instructed to code words using a sequence of numbers.
For each correct coding, they received points and the person who scored the most points received a bonus.
On average, women and men performed similarly, meaning that both sexes would have the same chance of winning the competition against each other.
However, a difference arose when people were offered the option of lowering their opponents' scores by spending money.
Men turned to sabotage more than women, investing more money in reducing competitor performance.
Professor Petra Nieken of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, who participated in the study, said: “Either you work harder to increase your performance or reduce your opponent's performance. All activities to reduce other people's performance are known as sabotage.
& # 39; Therefore, they (men) win more often, although men and women achieve the same performance on average.
Dr. Simon Dato of the University of Bonn said: “We wanted to clearly show the gender difference in unethical conduct, that is, sabotage and to understand the underlying mechanisms for developing long-term countermeasures.”
While men sabotage more, they also systematically overestimate the threat of sabotage against them – leading researchers to conclude that this was the reason men were prone to sabotage.
Women, on the other hand, realistically assess the level of sabotage.
Professor Nieken said: "Women and men do not have different moral values, but men perceive their environment more strongly as competitive."
Researchers hope that awareness of the 'mechanism' of Sabotage Found in Men and Women Help Reduce Workplace Occurrence
When men are informed of the real threat of sabotage against them (lower than they expected), they reduce their level of attack – making the best person win. and means that women are not systematically disadvantaged.
The study suggested that sabotage in the real world could include depriving competitors of important customer or business partner information, not informing others about meeting dates, or deleting the hard drive.
Professor Nieken said this discovery could counteract sabotage that occurs in the workplace.
It could allow companies to become aware of the male reaction to the perceived and often imagined sabotage threat.
She added: 'The goal is to promote the best. If the "wrong" person is systematically promoted, it is disadvantageous for losers and the company.
The results of the experiment are published under the heading & # 39; Gender Difference in Sabotage: The Role of Uncertainty & Beliefs & # 39; in Experimental Economics magazine.
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