Light Friday: The Perpetual Ocean
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientific Visualization Studio

Plus: How We Empathize With Disrespected Coworkers and Why Single CEOs are a Risky Investment.

Why Single CEOs are Risky

What does a chief executive’s marriage status have to do with investments? Investing in firms run by single CEOs is riskier than investing in companies run by executives who are married, according to new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Based on a study of married and single CEOs at 1,500 companies across industries, two professors at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School found that unmarried executives invest more aggressively in capital expenditures, research and development, advertising and acquisitions, and that their companies exhibit higher stock-return volatility, Fortune explains.

In general, a firm run by an unmarried CEO invests 10 percent more and the volatility of its stock returns is 3 percent higher, according to the working paper, titled Status, Marriage and Managers’ Attitudes to Risk. These CEOs take more risks because they need to compete in the marriage market for higher-quality spouses, and that pushes them to take actions that can boost their relative wealth and status, the study’s co-authors, Nikolai Roussanov and Pavel Savor, say.

CNBC notes that the industry with the highest proportion of single CEOs (23.5 percent) is computers, software and electronic equipment, while the industry with the lowest is utilities (5.1 percent).

How We Empathize With Disrespected Coworkers

Many of us have been victims of disrespect or incivility in the workplace, but what happens when you witness your colleagues taking the heat at the office? How does it make you feel?

According to a study recently published in the Springer science journal Sex Roles, our reaction depends on the gender of the target, suggesting that we empathize more with coworkers of our own gender when we see them being disrespected.

In the study of more than 450 restaurant employees, researchers Kathi Miner from Texas A&M University and Angela Eischeid from Buena Vista University in Iowa, examined how workplace incivility toward female and male coworkers relates to four negative emotions – anger, demoralization, fear and anxiety – among both female and male observers.

The researchers determined that female observers reported significantly higher levels of anger, demoralization, fear and anxiety when they observed other female employees being treated rudely while on the job, with demoralization the strongest negative emotion experienced.

Meanwhile, male observers were significantly angrier, more fearful and more anxious when they observed other men being treated poorly at work, compared to females. Interestingly, demoralization was not a negative emotion experienced by male observers in these situations.

“Our results paint a complex picture about the experience of specific negative emotions in response to observed incivility toward same gender coworkers,” the study’s authors concluded. “In some cases, women are more affected (demoralized) and in others, men are more affected (angry, fearful and anxious). In both cases, witnessing incivility towards same-gender coworkers can have significant affective consequences for observers.”

The research is the first to look at the relationship between employees’ observations of incivility towards same-gender coworkers and negative emotions.

The World’s Oceans: Where Science and Art Meet

Assembled from a vast amount of satellite, on-location and computational data generated by Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase 2 (ECCO2) – a joint project between MIT and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – the animation below shows ocean surface currents worldwide between June 2005 and December 2007.

The goal of this beautiful visualization – which does not include a narration or annotations but does resemble a Van Gogh painting – was “to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience,” NASA states.





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