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Affect (Psychology) -- Effect on performance, Organizational behavior, Work -- Psychological aspects, Motivation (Psychology)


We draw from personality systems interaction theory (PSI; Kuhl, 2000) and regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) to examine how dynamic positive and negative affective processes interact to predict both task and contextual performance. Using a twice-daily diary design over the course of a three-week period, results from multi-level regression analysis revealed that distinct patterns of change in positive and negative affect optimally predicted contextual and task performance among a sample of 71 individuals employed at a medium-sized technology company. Specifically, within persons, increases (upshifts) in positive affect over the course of a work day better predicted the subsequent day’s organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) when such increases were coupled with decreases (downshifts) in negative affect. The optimal pattern of change in positive and negative affect differed, however, in predicting task performance. That is, upshifts in positive affect over the course of the work day better predicted the subsequent day’s task performance when such upshifts were accompanied by upshifts in negative affect. The contribution of our findings to PSI theory and the broader affective and motivation regulation literatures, along with practical implications, are discussed.


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in The Journal Of Applied Psychology, 101(6), 831-845. doi:10.1037/apl0000088 and can be found online at:



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