3 Items

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Leadership is Associated with Lower Levels of Stress

| September 24, 2012

As leaders ascend to more powerful positions in their groups, they face ever-increasing demands. As a result, there is a common perception that leaders have higher stress levels than nonleaders. However, if leaders also experience a heightened sense of control—a psychological factor known to have powerful stress-buffering effects—leadership should be associated with reduced stress levels. Using unique samples of real leaders, including military officers and government officials, we found that, compared with nonleaders, leaders had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower reports of anxiety (study 1). In study 2, leaders holding more powerful positions exhibited lower cortisol levels and less anxiety than leaders holding less powerful positions, a relationship explained significantly by their greater sense of control. Altogether, these findings reveal a clear relationship between leadership and stress, with leadership level being inversely related to stress.

April 3, 2012: Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, greets supporters in Cranberry, Pa. Santorum's plan to use state conventions to pull support from Mitt Romney has stalled in North Dakota.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Why Don't Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum Just Quit?

| April 6, 2012

"Even experts are not immune to such errors: Making decisions in their area of expertise, doctors, lawyers and financial managers are just as likely as the general public to fall victim to overconfidence. Political candidates — even smart, knowledgeable ones — are likely to overestimate their chances of winning and, as a campaign goes on, to misjudge their chances of political resurrection. This is why there are so many candidates to begin with."