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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Sense of Fairness Affects Outlook, Decisions

from the Washington Post (Registration Required)

American workers are hurting. The country is in an economic slump, thousands of people are being laid off, and hundreds of companies are retrenching. With house values falling in many parts of the country and with gas prices soaring, many people are struggling from paycheck to paycheck.

The unfolding shakeout might ultimately be good for the economy, but it can be extremely painful for individuals. For companies, managing change is very important, not only for the well-being of their employees but also because to succeed, they need employees who are engaged, enthusiastic and energized -- and not burned out.

A pair of psychologists recently evaluated hundreds of employees at a large North American university that was in the grip of painful change. The researchers wanted to find out whether there were factors that explained why some employees successfully weathered the transition and reengaged with their jobs, while others spiraled into cynicism and exhaustion -- the classic signs of burnout.

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