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Why we think working hard makes you a good person

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Monday-Friday

Working hard shows others that we're reliable. But work for work's sake has taken over, leading to burnout and inefficiency. Social psychologist Azim Shariff analyzes the morality of work.

About Azim Shariff

Azim Shariff is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has conducted research on religion, climate change, economic mobility, free will and punishment, privacy and driverless cars. His work investigates how our often ancient moral intuitions shape and respond to the cultural institutions and technologies of the modern world. A graduate of the universities of Toronto and British Columbia, Shariff taught in Oregon, California and Abu Dhabi before returning to Canada.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Harsha Nahata and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Harsha Nahata
Harsha Nahata (she/her) is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She is drawn to storytelling as a way to explore ideas about identity and question dominant narratives.
Sanaz Meshkinpour
[Copyright 2024 NPR]