Are smart people more likely to be victimized at work?

Drawing on the victim precipitation model, this study provides an empirical investigation of the relationship between cognitive ability and victimization at work. We propose that people high in cognitive ability are more prone to victimization. In this study, we also examine the direct and moderating effects of victims’ personality traits, specifically the 2 interpersonally oriented personality dimensions of agency and communion. Results support the direct positive relationship of cognitive ability and victimization. The positive relationship between high cognitive ability and victimization is moderated by the victims’ personality traits; agency personality traits strengthen the relationship of cognitive ability and victimization, whereas communion personality traits weaken this relationship.

Source: “Get smarty pants: Cognitive ability, personality, and victimization.” from Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 95(5), Sep 2010, 889-901.

Speaking of smarts and genius, if you haven’t read it, Dave Eggers’ book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is a lot of fun. If you’re looking to refresh your brain I highly recommend: An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn’t.

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