New Psychology Research Explores How Ego Interacts with Health

Doctoral student Charles Fales studied how completing stressful tasks impacts health.

| Author: Hadlee Rinn | Media Contact: Kara Owens

Charles Fales, a doctoral student studying Industrial-Organizational Psychology, researched how ego interacts with personality, mental health and physical health. In terms of Fales’s research, ego is the mental energy used when undertaking stressful tasks and is refilled through rest and relaxation.  

Fales’s initial thoughts were “those high in certain personality traits such as agreeableness or conscientiousness may use their mental fuel more quickly than others, and thus may have worse physical or mental health.” Fales notes he also wanted to observe if personality would influence health outcomes in a positive or negative way.  

The goal of Fales’ research was to help organizations direct vulnerable employees to resources if they are in jeopardy of losing their ego and by extension impacting their health. Several of Fales’ hypotheses, that some personality characteristics, such as agreeableness, lead to a loss of ego and worsening health, were supported.  

A few findings also indicated Narcissism and Machiavellianism (the manipulation of others for your own goals/wants) can also deplete ego and health. Fales says, “[It’s] interesting to think that both those who are kind or bad/selfish experience similar issues.”  

This story is brought to you by the  Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

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