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Bad Day at Work? Study Finds a Voodoo Doll of Your Boss Might Be the Most Effective Way of Getting Even


Anyone who has ever had a boss has undoubtedly butted heads with that person and knows that it can make for an awkward vibe in the office. While it would be easy to let your resentment fester and possibly affect your work performance, scientists have a better solution: Get a voodoo doll.

As ScienceAlert reports, a new study published in The Leadership Quarterlyfound that when employees feel mistreated in the workplace, stabbing pins into a voodoo doll of their boss can be an effective way of managing the situation (and certainly a much better solution than stewing in anger). The study, led by psychologist Dr. Lindie Hanyu Liang, an assistant professor at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, found that engaging in “symbolic retaliation” against one’s boss after perceived mistreatment eased participants’ bitterness.

“We found a simple and harmless symbolic act of retaliation can make people feel like they’re getting even and restoring their sense of fairness,” Liang told The Telegraph.

In one experiment, nearly 200 full-time employees were asked to recall an instance in which they felt mistreated by their boss. Some of the participants were then given one full minute to exact their revenge on a virtual voodoo doll via a range of torture options, including sticking the doll with pins, burning it with a candle, or pinching it with pliers. Then, all of the study’s participants completed a fill-in-the-blank word exercise.


MentalFloss, excerpt posted on, Mar. 10, 2018 

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