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Imaginary Office Co-Workers Say a Lot About You

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Imaginary Office Co-Workers Say a Lot About You

If you visualized an imaginary co-worker, what personality traits would he or she have? Whoever you imagine tells researchers a lot about you.

In the absence of my co-workers this week, down and out to a nasty flu virus, a press release about a new study on visualization made me smile. Researchers asked subjects to describe an imaginary co-worker. If you visualized an imaginary co-worker, what personality traits would he or she have?

Would she be a Mary Richards, perky, bright, and conscientious, someone sympathetic to her fellow workers and their problems? (Mary Tyler Moore Show) Or a Pam Beesly Halpert who faked labour pains to get out of boring staff meetings, too self-absorbed to hang in there and suffer with the rest of the team? (The Office)

Or do you imagine her to be a combination of Violet Newstead, Doralee Rhodes, and Judy Bernly who could help you kidnap your chauvinistic, harassing boss, and teach him a thing or two? (Nine to Five)

Visualizing an imaginary co-worker
The kicker is that whomever you visualize says a lot about you. The personality traits that you ascribe to your imaginary co-worker mirror the traits that you display in your own life. Are you positive, a go-getter, a problem solver? Chances are your imaginary co-worker is too.  

Researchers find that encouraging subjects to make up workers produces a more complete picture of how the subjects view the world, how they interpret events, and what their expectations of other people really are.

Researchers spoke to hundreds of adults employed in a variety of different fields to determine their “psychological capital”.

What is “psychological capital”?
This cluster of personality traits is associated with the ability to overcome problems and actively pursue one’s goals. Subjects who visualized their imaginary co-workers acting proactively or recovering from failure were actually happier and more productive in their real jobs.

So if you decide to revise your imaginary co-worker, feel free to choose one of mine. They all possess psychological capital along with a bunch of other fabulous personality traits. That’s why I miss them so much. Get well soon, guys!

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