Hate Your Boss? Stab A Voodoo Doll

Being shouted at by your boss can drive you to the brink of stupidity.

But scientists today bizarrely claimed stabbing a voodoo doll, which represents your nightmare manager, could be the answer.

Giving upset employees the opportunity to hurt the doll using pins, pliers and fire give them a sense of justice, two studies concluded.

voodoo doll for angry employees

Being shouted at by your boss can drive you to the brink of stupidity. But scientists today claimed stabbing a voodoo doll, which represents your nightmare boss, could be the answer

Nearly 400 participants were involved in the studies, with 195 employees lured to take part in the first study with the promise of a $1 (£0.72).

Volunteers were placed into two groups, depending on whether or not they would retaliate to abusive behavior.

A control group was also studied by the University of Waterloo-led experts – but they were just asked to solve word fragment challenges instead.

The voodoo doll participants were all asked to recall a time when they were abused by their boss in their career, such as being yelled at.

Half visited a website with an interactive voodoo doll and were asked to mark it with their boss’ initials and harm it using pins, pliers, and fire.

The others were shown a screenshot of the doll, which they labeled as ‘nobody’, and were asked to trace the outline of it using their cursor.

Perceptions of justice were then assessed in the volunteers through five ‘ostensibly unrelated’ word puzzles.

It showed those were given the chance to retaliate, by attacking the voodoo doll, had a significantly higher sense of justice.

The study, published in the scientific journal The Leadership Quarterly, was then repeated on 150 students.

Analysis of results showed students felt justice when they harmed the voodoo doll after recalling abuse.

However, in a neutral condition – which was just tested in the second study, no significance was noted in feelings of justice.

The study comes a week after separate research suggested employees who thrive under abusive bosses may actually be psychopaths.

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