Blue Monday: The Loss of the Work Ethic in America

Robert Eisenberger, Author Paragon House Publishers $22.95 (291p) ISBN 978-1-55778-133-8
Extolling 19th century American industriousness, Delaware University psychologist Eisenberger blames our current economic decline on today's lax educational standards, loose work attitudes and TV-addled social norms. We are no match, in other words, for Japan's culturally ingrained commitment to work and study. Affluence and low rewards for worthwhile effort are at fault, argues the author, as he identifies three characteristic American workers: long-term persistent ``marathoners'' like Henry Ford; ``sprinters'' of intense achievement (Chuck Yeager) who later lose interest; and ``explorers,'' such as Estee Lauder, who cannily maneuver their own successes. Strained academic references to ``aversiveness of high cognitive effort'' and the like describe the author's own work/reward experiments on rats and college students. But for the most part, Eisenberger offers a clear view of a topic he believes critical to this nation. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-595-00023-4
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