You are here

Where Does Burnout Come From?

August 1, 2019


Burnout is classically seen in three factors: exhaustion, cynicism, and lack of personal effectiveness. Of these three components, which are candidates to cause burnout? In other words, which came first: the proverbial chicken or the egg?

Teasing out causality is notoriously hard in research circles. Indicating correlation—that two things tend to occur together—is statistically straightforward. Causation requires the introduction of time as an isolating variable, and, given the constraints of research grants, that can be challenging.

However, much like the proofs that we all hated in our geometry class, we can evaluate each of the criteria to evaluate whether it's a reasonable candidate to cause the condition.