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Having a Voodoo Doll of Your Boss Is Awesome For Team Morale

Common sense will tell you that venting your emotions will make you feel better, but it's always good to have empirical evidence. A new study shows that torturing a voodoo doll of your boss is an effective way to restore a sense of justice and morale in the workplace. The study was led by psychologist Lindie Hanyu Liang from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, whose team conducted two experiments.  

In the first experiment, the team took over 195 full-time employees and asked them to recall and visualise a workplace interaction from their past where their supervisor had treated them with hostile behaviour, such as being rude, making negative comments, or failing to acknowledge their hard work.

Then it was payback time.

After the flashback, some of the participants were encouraged to take out their frustrations on a virtual voodoo doll that represented their supervisor, using an arsenal of punishment tools – such as pins, pliers, fire – to exact their revenge for a delicious, vindictive minute.

Those that did this reported experiencing significantly reduced perceptions of injustice after the voodoo doll session, compared to other participants who didn't get a chance to symbolically retaliate against their manager.

Liang said that other methods of venting appear to be just as effective -like throwing darts at a target with the boss's picture on it. It might be a good idea to try that out of your supervisor's view, or in any place where bystanders could be hurt. Read more about the research at Science Alert. -via Mental Floss

(Image credit: BeatrixBelibaste)

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