Why 2017 Is Filled With Jerks

“Nasty behavior spreads much faster than nice behavior, unfortunately. Research shows that even a single exposure to negative behavior, like receipt of an insulting email, can turn a person into a ‘carrier.’ Literally like a common cold.”

Remember the good old days when people thought 2016 was a rough year? Well, 2017 has blown that out of the water thanks in large part to what seems to be a parade of jerks.

Turns out, there may be a reason for that.

New York magazine interviews Stanford professor Robert Sutton, author of the new book The Asshole Survival Guide: How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like Dirt, about his theory of why 2017 is filled with jerks.

He suggests everything from the weather, to technology, to crowding and imbalances of power and wealth have created a perfect storm that has fueled the rise of assholes — and that their behavior is highly contagious.