Peter Warr

Peter Warr
The University of Sheffield | Sheffield · Institute of Work Psychology (IWP)

MA, PhD

About

167
Publications
135,895
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15,361
Citations

Publications

Publications (167)
Article
This paper brings together Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and other perspectives on wellbeing to test predictions about dimensions of affect which are linked to approach motivation or avoidance motivation. Valence and activation are jointly conceptualised as either approach-affect or avoidance-affect through the diagonal axes of an affective circ...
Preprint
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This paper brings together Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and other perspectives on wellbeing to test predictions about dimensions of affect which are linked to approach motivation or avoidance motivation. Valence and activation are jointly conceptualised as either approach-affect or avoidance-affect through the diagonal axes of an affective circ...
Book
Is happiness all down to luck? Do events in our life influence how happy we feel? Can too much of a good thing make us less happy? The Psychology of Happiness introduces readers to the variety of factors that can affect how happy we are. From our personality and feelings of self-worth, to our physical health and employment status, happiness is a su...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews research into the happy worker-productive worker thesis, which suggests that individuals and groups with raised wellbeing perform better in their jobs than do those with lower wellbeing. We examine different types of context-free and job-related wellbeing, and explore work performance in terms of in-role and extra-role behavior...
Article
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Drawing on psychology-derived theories and methods, a questionnaire survey compared principal kinds of work orientation, job content and mental well-being between self-employed and organisationally employed professional workers. Self-employment was found to be particularly associated with energised well-being in the form of job engagement. The pres...
Article
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This study compares personal values and forms of happiness between self-employed workers and those employed in an organization. Values are examined through Schwartz's (1999) established model, and happiness is measured in terms of personal flourishing and both job-specific and general hedonic well-being. In two nationally representative samples, se...
Chapter
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(This chapter outlines the vitamin model of happiness and mental health with particular emphasis on job settings. It reviews possible influences from the environment, from within the person, and from some possible environment-person combinations.)
Chapter
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This chapter presents a perspective on mental processes which embraces pleasant as well as stressful environmental features, extends across a broad range of cognitions and affects, and explores the varied nature of happiness and unhappiness. Analogous to the impact of vitamins on physical health, relationships between environmental characteristics...
Technical Report
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A short questionnaire is described which taps job feelings of four principal kinds -- Anxiety, Depression, Enthusiasm and Comfort. Based on the affective circumplex model, both separate and combined feelings may be investigated.
Article
This study investigates why a large proportion of meetings continue to be regarded as a poor use of time, despite a substantial body of literature on how to make improvements. Employees from 41 countries provide comments on the effectiveness of their typical meetings and how to improve effectiveness. Less than half the respondents describe meetings...
Article
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Perspectives on the sources of happiness and unhappiness (sometimes viewed as “well-being”) may be distinguished in terms of their primary emphasis –either on features in the environment or on people's thoughts and feelings. This paper will separately cover environmental features and within-person mental processes. In a third section, we will prese...
Article
Full-text available
Job values and job characteristics are widely assumed to interact with each other, in that job-holders’ preferences are thought to moderate associations of job content with well-being. However, an examination of previous research revealed considerable between-feature inconsistency in findings about moderation, and a new contingency variable was int...
Article
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Emphasizing differences in activation as well as valence, six studies across a range of situations examined relations between types of job-related core affect and 13 self-reported work behaviours. A theory-based measure of affect was developed, and its four-quadrant structure was found to be supported across studies. Also consistent with hypotheses...
Article
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Forms of well-being vary in their activation as well as valence, differing in respect of energy-related arousal in addition to whether they are negative or positive. Those differences suggest the need to refine traditional assumptions that poor person-job fit causes lower well-being. More activated forms of well-being were proposed to be associated...
Article
Random samples of 2149 men and 1206 women in mainland United Kingdom were asked whether they would continue in employment if that were no longer financially necessary. Subsidiary questions asked whether those opting to continue in employment would change jobs, and whether those opting out might later return to employment. Sixty-nine per cent of ful...
Article
Most entry-level training is directed to the enhancement of specific functional competences in a job. However, it is also important to seek to develop more general styles of effective working. This study distinguishes between intellectual and non-intellectual working styles, viewing the former primarily in terms of metacognitive processes and the l...
Article
The notions of content and structure of psychological systems are contrasted, and it is pointed out that most studies of personality, attitudes or judgement have examined content variables. Ways to measure more structural characteristics are described and these are applied to judgements within the domain of political stimuli. An investigation is re...
Article
Three experiments are described which examine the mutual operation of different weighting criteria. The criteria are evaluative direction, and what are termed ‘general salience’ and ‘importance-in-context’. The first experiment establishes a paradigm case where general salience is varied but importance-in-context is controlled. Later experiments ex...
Article
It has been reported that recall scores tend to decline with increasing numbers of lists learned. This has been attributed to proactive inhibition from the earlier lists. Two experiments are reported which test the hypothesis that this variation in recall score is more dependent on variations in mean degree of learning of items. This more economic...
Article
Award-winning psychologist Peter Warr explores why some people at work are happier or unhappier than others. He evaluates different approaches to the definition and assessment of happiness, and combines environmental and person-based themes to explain differences in people’s experience. A framework of key job characteristics is linked to an account...
Article
Full-text available
The affective-motivational state of job engagement has been shown to differ between jobs with different characteristics, but its possible links with workers’ personal attributes have rarely been studied. Engagement was predicted to be a primary function of personality factors and sub-factors which match its affective and motivational elements, name...
Article
Employment-related values were recorded at two levels of scope: perceived importance of the work-role and of particular job characteristics. Associations with workers' sex, age, employment status, and education level were significant. Work values also differed among countries with a different cultural heritage – historically catholic, historically...
Article
To complement environment-centred perspectives on employee well-being, which primarily examine the characteristics of external stimuli, a two-component framework is presented of cognitive processes in responding to those stimuli. First, it is argued that the experience of well-being derives in part from up to eight kinds of judgment, which operate...
Article
In a study of the ratings of managers' behaviour made by themselves, their supervisors, subordinates, and peers, it was found that degree of similarity between self-ratings and ratings by colleagues was significantly associated with three aspects of rating content: the observability of a behaviour, its desirability, and the degree to which it conce...
Article
Within the context of the British labor market, 11 investigations into the mental health impact of unemployment are described. These reveal significant decrements for people of all ages as a result of moving into unemployment, and for middle-aged men additional effects of continuing joblessness. Research into factors mediating the harmful impact of...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The aim of this investigation was to test hypotheses about meeting design characteristics (punctuality, chairperson, etc.) in relation to attendees’ perceptions of meeting effectiveness. Design/Methodology/Approach Two studies were conducted: Study 1 investigated meetings attended in a typical week (N = 958), whereas Study 2 examined the la...
Article
Happiness and unhappiness are major drivers of organizational life, central to the establishment and achievement of goals. They are also significantly linked to several forms of behavior. Correlations between job satisfaction and job performance average about +0.20, with stronger associations in managerial and professional jobs. Significant associa...
Article
A five-component model of mental health is outlined, in which aspects of affective well-being, subjective competence, subjective aspiration and subjective autonomy are treated as overlapping with attitudes. Attitudes and mental health which are specifically job-related are then considered, and some suggestions for measurement are made.
Article
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Article
Work teams on production lines are usually made up at random; but the authors' research indicates that where teams are constituted on the basis of skills, higher productivity and increased job satisfaction may result.
Article
The influence on sickness absence of both attendance motivation and ill-health is addressed in a national sample of British working people. Three patterns of absence are studied, those suggested to be attributable to differences in ill-health alone, those considered to arise from variations in attendance motivation alone and those thought to be due...
Article
The Job Components Inventory, a new job analysis technique examining the use of tools and equipment, physical and perceptual requirements, mathematical requirements, communication requirements, and decision-making and responsibility requirements, is introduced. Results of a study of 100 job holders demonstrate a high reliability of the technique in...
Article
Full-text available
Using an interruptions framework, this article proposes and tests a set of hypotheses concerning the relationship of meeting time demands with job attitudes and well-being (JAWB). Two Internet surveys were administered to employees who worked 35 hr or more per week. Study 1 examined prescheduled meetings attended in a typical week (N=676), whereas...
Article
La coherence attendue entre des traits de personnalité et d’une part des choix de carrière, d’autre part des préférences pour des types de culture organisationnelle a été examinée en termes de parallélisme conceptuel différentiel. On s’est aperçu que, dans un grand échantillon d’adultes britanniques, les rapprochements dépendaient de l’existence d’...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent with a growing number of models about affect and behaviour and with a recognition that perception alone provides no impetus for action, it was predicted that associations between company climate and productivity would be mediated by average level of job satisfaction. In a study of 42 manufacturing companies, subsequent productivity was s...
Article
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Variations in conceptual alignment between predictors and criteria have previously been studied in respect of criterion-related validity, but not in settings of multi-source rating. The differential conceptual alignment perspective was applied here to account for gender and age differences in the rating of behaviour. Personality traits of sales sta...
Article
Concern about the construct validity of assessment centre judgements has led to calls for research into observers’ cognitive processes. In an experiment comparing the Traditional observation procedure against use of a Behavioural Checklist and of Behavioural Coding, six outcome variables were examined. The methods were found to yield similar outcom...
Article
Are currency crises caused by manias and panics in financial markets, or by unsustainable deteriorations in domestic macroeconomic conditions? This question is explored in the context of the recent Asian currency crisis. The theoretical concept of vulnerability is used to identify three early-warning indicators of susceptibility to a currency crisi...
Article
This chapter introduces the three principal outcomes that have been studied by psychologists in work settings: people's well-being, their behaviour and their attitudes. Different aspects of those three outcomes will be examined, and some interrelationships between well-being and behaviour will be explored: is more positive well-being accompanied by...
Article
In a study of male and female members of the German work-force, interview-based measures of personal initiative were examined as a function of age in combination with demographic and work characteristics. No significant age differences were found for male employees' initiative in job behaviour, but a negative age-pattern was found for men's and wom...
Article
Responses to five established personality scales (CPI, OPQ CM5.2, OPQ32n, FIRO-B and MBTI) were obtained from large samples of the British population between 16 and 64 years of age. Significant age differences were present for about half the scales, and non-linear patterns occurred in 10% of cases. Older people were found to be, for instance, more...
Article
Full-text available
Reviews five principal sets of features that can underlie behaviour, and for each one examines research into age differences up to 2001. Reviews research needs and possible organizational initiatives.
Article
Four indirect processes affecting the relationship between self-reported personality attributes and rated job behaviors were examined: through correlated personality attributes which are conceptually concordant with a criterion, through correlated cognitive ability conceptually concordant with a criterion, through correlated concepts in general, an...
Article
In a study of adult technical trainees, it was found that four reported learning strategies were significantly associated with learning gain: Rehearsal, Interpersonal Help-seeking, Emotion Control and Motivation Control. However, all those associations were negative. A prior measure of learning anxiety (but not learning ability or learning motivati...
Article
In two studies of 360° judgments, it was shown that congruence measured in terms of intercorrelations between ratings by different people (congruence‐r) and in terms of the discrepancy between those ratings (congruence‐d) were empirically independent of each other. Congruence‐r was greatest, and congruence‐d was smallest, between judgments made by...
Article
In this paper we describe a survey of the current use and effectiveness of key modern manufacturing practices within the UK. The findings from the survey are based upon a ten-percent sample of British manufacturing companies employing more than 150 people. The most common practices in use are supply-chain partnering, total quality management, team-...
Article
The criterion-related validity of a personality scale depends upon both logical and judgmental factors. Degree of logical implication between individual scales and criterion behaviours was assessed in terms of independently measured conceptual concordance, which was shown to be strongly associated with measured validity in a sample of managers. It...
Chapter
Full-text available
Paid employment has a substantial impact on the well-being of most adults. This chapter examines the nature of employee well-being and the key features of jobs and people that affect well-being. The proposed framework distinguishes between feelings that are context-specific (e.g., satisfaction with one's job) and those that are context-free (e.g.,...
Article
Full-text available
In a study of two components of associative learning, it was found that during acquisition older people were more likely to forget material on which they were previously correct, but only for associations which were not well learned. Older people also formed fewer correct associations in the course of the task. Differences in learners' perceptual s...
Article
Outlines a comprehensive taxonomy of modern manufacturing practices. Previous attempts have tended to be partial in coverage and to concentrate on performance issues, rather than explain the reasons why a particular practice may have been adopted. In order to overcome these problems, the new taxonomy categorizes manufacturing practices according to...
Article
K. Warner Schaie, Intellectual Development in Adulthood: The Seattle Longitudinal Study, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, 396 pp., hbk £35.00, ISBN 0 521 43014 3. - - Volume 17 Issue 2 - PETER WARR
Article
The impact of individual differences in state anxiety, arousal and learning self-efficacy on performance in an associative learning task was examined. Older people reported higher levels of arousal but lower levels of self-efficacy than younger ones, and no age-different was present in anxiety. Arousal level was negatively related and self-efficacy...
Article
In a study (N = 61) comparing older (age range = 60-80 years, M = 67) and younger (age range = 20-33 years, M = 25) people, age deficits were observed in working memory, perceptual speed, and central executive functioning but not in phonological loop functioning. Controlling for age differences in central executive performance removed over 50% of t...
Article
A laboratory study is reported in which individual differences underlying variations in the performance of a complex task are examined. Differences in fluid intelligence, elementary cognitive components (processing speed and working memory) and cognitive styles (tempo, planfulness and complexity) are measured, with a view to comparing between these...
Article
Presents evidence in support of other findings to show that older employees are, on average, as effective as younger employees, but prejudice against older applicants and staff is common. It is sometimes suggested that age and performance are found to be unrelated because of selective staff turnover; that perhaps less effective older employees leav...
Article
Previous investigations into the processes and outcomes of training have been restricted to conventional “closed” settings. However, learning is likely to become increasingly “open,” with greater discretion granted for individuals to choose how and when they will acquire new skills and information. In a study of 106 junior managers over a 7-month p...
Article
Roles within employment, as well as in society more broadly, are differentiated according to people's ages. Such occupational grading by age has rarely been examined through detailed characterization of jobs. In this study, 1,140 personnel managers identified and described age-graded jobs for nonmanagerial employees at their own site. Those jobs we...
Article
Full-text available
There is much simplistic and inaccurate thinking about older workers. That is associated with stereotypes that are incomplete, and a failure to appreciate that no one person (of any age) is well-suited to all possible jobs. These points are developed in this article, which also emphasizes the potential adaptability of employees of all ages.
Article
Full-text available
The key features which influence mental health both in jobs and unemployment are brought together within a single perspective. Three principal axes of affective well-being are identified as warranting investigation, and it is suggested that nine environmental features are of primary importance. The impact of these features on mental health is viewe...
Article
Full-text available
It is generally believed that job satisfaction increases linearly with age. However, there are persuasive arguments, and some empirical evidence, that the relationship is U-shaped, declining from a moderate level in the early years of employment and then increasing steadily up to retirement. This paper investigates that relationship, using survey r...
Article
examines two principal issues: the impact of aging on work behavior and attitudes, and the influences of work characteristics on aging itself / these issues are introduced through a consideration of age-related social roles, age stereotypes, national labor force projections, and the key features of cross-sectional and longitudinal investigations /...
Article
Although both physical fitness and aspects of cognitive functioning are known to be poorer among older people, there is conflicting evidence about the interaction between age and fitness. Is greater age more strongly associated with impaired cognition among less fit people than it is among more fit people? In a sample of employed men aged 17-63 yea...
Article
Full-text available
Two questions are examined through an investigation of 1,686 people employed in a wide range of jobs. First, is there a U-shaped relationship between age and occupational well-being, such that medium-aged workers report lower well-being than do both younger and older people? That pattern is found, in relationship to both job anxiety-contentment and...
Article
Full-text available
Karasek (1979) drew attention to the possibilities that job characteristics may be non-linearly associated with employee well-being, and that they may combine interactively in relation to well-being. This paper examines those issues, and finds that both linear and non-linear components are present in relationships between job features and well-bein...
Article
Full-text available
New instruments are described for the measurement of both job-related and non-job mental health. These cover two axes of affective well-being, based upon dimensions of pleasure and arousal, and also reported competence, aspiration and negative job carry-over. Baseline data are presented from a sample of 1686 job-holders, and earlier uses of the wel...

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
To document and understand factors associated with different associations between forms of wellbeing and different behaviours.