(CNN) -- Being a nice person in the office may not necessarily be a wise career move.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 Posted: 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
If you want to increase your salary, research shows that you may have to do it by being cold, disagreeable and antagonistic at work rather than by being nice.
Not only do nice people finish last, they also finish poorer. And the more devious and grumpier you are in the office the more you are likely to earn, according to research published in the Journal of Economic Psychology.
The study by Ellen Nyhus from Adger University College in Norway and Empar Pons from the University of Valencia in Spain analyzed the earnings and personality traits of 3,000 people.
They found that those who were friendly earn less than those who were not.
According to the report: "Agreeableness has a negative association with wage, which indicates that helping other people is punished in the labor market."
Previously, economists thought that bosses were more likely to reward agreeable staff, since these employees respond positively to praise from managers.
But the survey now shows that agreeable workers are less likely to push for more money or a promotion, because they are so pleasant. While those with "Machiavellian intelligence" -- the knowlege and ability to manipulate others -- also have the skills to manipulate their salary in a positive way.
"It takes a different mentality to crush who ever is in your way to get somewhere," one businessman told CNN on the streets of New York.
The study's authors say that there is a chance that agreeable people do not demand higher wages. They also found that "agreeableness is significantly associated with lower wages for women," the theory being that they are more agreeable than men.
But not everyone CNN spoke to on the New York streets believed the results of the study. "I am not going to be less friendly or less agreeable to make more money," said one person. "The jerks go out the door. I think the nicer you are the universe compensates for it," said another.