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Hard Workers May Be Insecure

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

New research from San Diego State University shows people work harder to make up for low self-esteem.

Researchers studied the popular idea of the Protestant Work Ethic.

The report looked at how different religious, ethnic, and gender groups thought of themselves in terms of success and hard work.

The analysis found people who see themselves as successful don't necessarily work hard.

Researcher Jai Ghorpade says people who don't see themselves as successful work harder as a way to mask their insecurities.

Ghorpade: Holding the Protestant Work Ethic Belief possibly is linked to personality insecurity, that is, the desire to achieve and work hard perhaps hides a feeling of low self-worth.

Ghorpade says working harder helps people feel better about themselves even if they aren't successful.

However, he says having this type of work ethic isn't always healthy.

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