Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This study tested the situational effects of goals and stress on the performance of complex tasks and on adaptation to change in the task. Difficult goals often exceed the individual's resources and thus create stress. However, stress may be appraised as either challenge or threat. Challenge is experienced when there is an opportunity for self-growth with available coping strategies, whereas threat is experienced when the situation is perceived as leading to failure with no available strategies to cope with it. We hypothesized that participants who appraised the situation as a challenge would perform better and adapt better to changes under difficult goal conditions, as compared with general goals or strategy goals. By contrast, threat appraisals would be better addressed by strategy goals rather than difficult goals. One hundred and fifty five students performed a task, which required their making predictions concerning the value of 120 companies' stocks based on three manipulated cues. We used a three by three by two factorial design in which goals, stress, and change (as a repeated factor) were varied to test the hypotheses. Results supported the main hypotheses and demonstrated that the same level of goal difficulty may lead to high or low performance and adaptation to change depending on the appraisal of the situation as challenging or threatening. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are further discussed.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... The empirical validation of these cardiovascular patterns is based on a number of studies in the context of social stressors (e.g., Tomaka, Blascovich, Kelsey, & Leitten, 1993;Tomaka, Blascovich, Kibler, & Ernst, 1997), including stigma (Blascovich, Mendes, Hunter, & Lickel, 2001;Vick, Seery, Blascovich, & Weisbuch, 2008), attitude functionality Fazio, Blascovich, & Driscoll, 1992), social comparison (Mendes, Blascovich, Major, & Seery, 2001), and motor skill performance (Vine, Freeman, Moore, Chandra-Ramanan, & Wilson, 2013). We tested if this classification corresponded with the cadets' subjective appraisal of challenge and threat, measured with the Threat and Challenge Appraisal survey (TCA; Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). This was to obtain a better insight into the cadets' varying responses to the scenario and to further validate the use of physiological measures for stress monitoring during training (earlier also hypothesized by Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). ...
... We tested if this classification corresponded with the cadets' subjective appraisal of challenge and threat, measured with the Threat and Challenge Appraisal survey (TCA; Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). This was to obtain a better insight into the cadets' varying responses to the scenario and to further validate the use of physiological measures for stress monitoring during training (earlier also hypothesized by Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). ...
... However, the analysis of the remaining 29 participants suggested that the scenarios were not appraised as very threatening by most cadets, as only three cadets were classified as threat responders. Despite this low number of threat responders and resulting moderate statistical power, we still found that the classification corresponded significantly with the cadets' subjective reports of threat or challenge appraisal, as measured with the Threat and Challenge Appraisal survey (TCA) questionnaire (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). This further supports the validation of the threat/challenge indexing as well as the TCA, and it supports the use of the TCA as a tool for stress measurement in military populations. ...
Article
The current study explores whether different stressors in a virtual reality (VR) military training scenario cause increases in physiological stress. This would validate the use of VR simulation for stress training, as well as the physiological monitoring of trainees for educational purposes. Military cadets (n = 63) performed a patrol scenario (military convoy) in which they answered questions about their surroundings. Stressors (task difficulty, noise, lighting changes, social evaluations, electric muscle stimulation, and a simulated attack on the convoy) were stepwise added in four phases. Electrocardiogram, blood pressure, electrodermal activity, cortisol, and the cadets' subjective threat/challenge appraisal were measured. We found that only the first phase caused a significant increase in physiological stress, as measured with heart rate, heart rate variability, and electrodermal activity. Physiological stress appeared to stay high in the second phase as well, but decreased to baseline level in the third and fourth phases, even though these phases were designed to be the most stressful. Cadets classified as threat responders based on physiological data (n = 3) scored significantly higher on subjective threat/challenge appraisal than those classified as challenge responders (n = 21). It seems that in the tested VR training scenario, the novelty of the scenario was the only effective stress stimuli, whereas the other implemented stressors did not cause a measurable physiological response. We conclude that if VR training scenarios are to be used for stress training, these should confront trainees with unpredictable but context-specific demands. ARTICLE HISTORY
... challenge) and threat (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). When individuals appraise the constraint with a higher degree of opportunity, they see the situation as a chance for selfgrowth, develop mastery, and have gains (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). By contrast, when the individual appraises the constraint with higher levels of threat, they perceive a menace and source of failure (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002), with little chances of gains (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). ...
... When individuals appraise the constraint with a higher degree of opportunity, they see the situation as a chance for selfgrowth, develop mastery, and have gains (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). By contrast, when the individual appraises the constraint with higher levels of threat, they perceive a menace and source of failure (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002), with little chances of gains (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). This would mean that, for example, an entrepreneur that appraises a new competitor in the market as a challenge to motivate their team to innovate could also appraise that competition as a threat for future performance of their venture. ...
... When individuals appraise the constraint with a higher degree of opportunity, they see the situation as a chance for selfgrowth, develop mastery, and have gains (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). By contrast, when the individual appraises the constraint with higher levels of threat, they perceive a menace and source of failure (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002), with little chances of gains (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). This would mean that, for example, an entrepreneur that appraises a new competitor in the market as a challenge to motivate their team to innovate could also appraise that competition as a threat for future performance of their venture. ...
Article
Combining the transactional ideas of cognitive appraisals and the Affective Events Theory we explore the subjective nature of entrepreneurial‐constraints and its consequences for nascent entrepreneurial action. In study 1, we developed a measure of entrepreneurial constraint‐appraisal (opportunity and threat). In study 2, using a cross‐lagged panel design, we found that entrepreneurial passion mediates the positive relationship between opportunity‐appraisal and taking‐action. In study 3, findings provided support for the long‐term effects of this relationship (3 and 9 months after). Our study provides empirical evidence on how constraints evaluated as opportunities ignite entrepreneurial passion and lead to nascent entrepreneurship activity.
... Stress, anxiety and pressure can result from setting unachievably high goals (e.g., daily/weekly recommendations that are unrealistic for the individual's present PA level or level of physical conditioning), or if there are too many challenging goals (e.g., too many components/required behaviours to increase PA; Latham & Locke, 2006). Moreover, studies have found that specific, challenging performance goals can be appraised as threatening (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). Indeed, Latham and Locke (2006) highlighted that: "A…potential problem with goal setting is that it [the goal] may be viewed as a threat rather than a challenge… [and] when people view a goal as threatening…their performance drops" (p. ...
... Since 1990, however, studies have reported that learning goals are more effective than do-your-best goals and performance goals in complex tasks (e.g., Winters & Latham, 1996;Seijts & Latham, 2001;Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Seijts, Latham, Tasa & Latham, 2004). ...
Article
Goal-setting is a widely used and accepted strategy for promoting physical activity. Locke and Latham’s goal-setting theory is the primary theoretical framework for setting goals in psychology and plays a prominent role in physical activity promotion. Recently, however, there have been calls to reconsider current goal-setting practice in this field. Therefore, we aimed to critically review and update the application of goal-setting theory in physical activity promotion, by examining core developments in this theory since 1990. Current practice relies on setting specific ‘performance’ goals as a means of increasing physical activity (e.g., 10,000 steps; national physical activity guidelines). This approach was initially consistent with key tenets of goal-setting theory. However, since 1990 this theory has evolved to differentiate between performance and learning goals. Both goal types are context-dependent and it is now recognised that, in some cases, performance goals can even be detrimental to the achievement of desired outcomes. Consequently, current practice may be theoretically appropriate for physically active individuals but a different approach (e.g., learning goals) may be preferable for inactive individuals who are new to physical activity (i.e., most of the population). We conclude by discussing implications for policy, research, and practice in goal-setting for physical activity promotion.
... Research on stress, for example, Drach-Zahavy and Erez (2002) suggested that the effects of a demanding situation depend on whether an individual perceives the situation as challenging or threating. If individuals perceive the demanding situation as a challenge stressor, then it will lead to positive work outcomes, whereas when individuals perceive the demanding situation as a hindrance stressor, then it will lead to negative work outcomes (Mawritz, Folger, & Latham, 2014). ...
... perspective on antecedents to abusive supervision. Academy of Management Journal, 59(5), 1630-1652. De Jong, S. B., Van der Vegt,G. S., & Molleman, E. (2007). The relation- ships among asymmetry in task dependence, perceived helping be- havior, and trust. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(6), 1625-1637. https ://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.92.6.1625Drach-Zahavy, A., & Erez, M. (2002. Challenge versus threat effects on the goal-performance relationship.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88(2), 667-682. https ://doi.org/10.1016/ S0749-5978(02)00004-3 Eissa, G., & Lester, S. W. (2017). Supervisor role overload and frustration as antecedents of abusive supervision: The moderating role of super- visor ...
Article
Full-text available
Synthesizing self-regulatory theories, we provide new insights into the antecedents of abusive supervision. We, from the perspective of supervisor’s self-regulatory resources depletion or impairment, introduce supervisor hindrance stress as an underlying mechanism of the subordinate deviance-abusive supervision relationship: this mediated relationship will be intensified at the level of high subordinate job performance. In addition, we develop a complex contingency model and propose a three-way interaction (i.e., subordinate deviance, job performance, supervisor outcome dependence) to obtain the complete understanding of the subordinate deviance-abusive supervision relationship facilitated through the supervisors’ hindrance stress. To test our moderated moderated mediation model, we gathered time-lagged and multi-source data from a large food-service company located in southern China. We collected data at two different points (i.e., Time 1 and Time 2) from supervisors and their direct reports (N = 298 responses from 68 supervisors and 298 direct reports), and findings provide support for the hypothesized moderated moderated mediation model of our study. We highlight the implications of our study for theory, research and practice.
... A large body of work on stress appraisals focuses on challenge (i.e., having adequate resources to meet the demand) compared to threat appraisals (i.e., not having adequate resources to meet the demand) (Uphill et al., 2019). Compared to challenge appraisals, threat appraisals have previously been related to increased reports of stress (Tomaka et al., 1993) and other poor cognitive, behavioral and affective responses to laboratory stressors (Drach-Zahavy and Erez, 2002;Jamieson et al., 2012). According to the biological embedding model, childhood is a period of heightened sensitivity and plasticity (Miller et al., 2011). ...
... Specifically, individuals who reported more childhood trauma reported greater threat appraisals (i.e., not having adequate resources to meet demand) and lower challenge appraisals (i.e., having adequate resources to meet demand) compared to those who reported lower levels of childhood trauma. In previous research, threat appraisals have also been linked to poor behavioral, cognitive and affective responses to stress (Tomaka et al., 1993;Drach-Zahavy and Erez, 2002;Jamieson et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Childhood adversity is linked to adverse health in adulthood. One posited mechanistic pathway is through physiological responses to acute stress. Childhood adversity has been previously related to both exaggerated and blunted physiological responses to acute stress, however, less is known about the psychological mechanisms which may contribute to patterns of physiological reactivity linked to childhood adversity. Objective In the current work, we investigated the role of challenge and threat stress appraisals in explaining relationships between childhood adversity and cortisol reactivity in response to an acute stressor. Methods Undergraduate students ( n = 81; 61% female) completed an online survey that included general demographic information and the Risky Families Questionnaire 24 h before a scheduled lab visit. In the lab, a research assistant collected a baseline salivary cortisol sample. Following the baseline period, participants were read instructions for the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a validated psychological lab stressor. Next, they completed a challenge vs. threat task appraisal questionnaire and completed the speech and math portion of the TSST. Twenty minutes following the start of the TSST, a second salivary sample was collected to measure changes in salivary cortisol following the TSST. Results Linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, childhood socioeconomic status (SES), and baseline cortisol levels, showed childhood adversity associated with changes in cortisol levels [ B = –0.29 t (73) = –2.35, p = 0.02, R 2=0.07 ]. Linear regression analyses controlling for age, sex, and childhood SES showed childhood adversity associated with both challenge [ B = –0.52 t (74) = –5.04, p < 0.001, R 2=0.24 ] and threat [ B = 0.55 t (74) = 5.40, p < 0.001, R 2=0.27 ] appraisals. Significant indirect effects of childhood trauma on cortisol reactivity were observed through challenge appraisals [ B = –0.01 (95% confidence interval = –0.02, –0.003)], and threat appraisals [ B = –0.01 (95% confidence interval = –0.01, –0.003)]. Conclusion Childhood adversity may contribute to blunted cortisol reactivity, a pattern of response which is linked to obesity, addiction, and other behavior-related diseases. Our findings suggest that this relationship is in part a product of stress appraisals.
... Don't frame it negatively, as something a person may have difficulty attaining. A negatively framed goal ( " Try not to miss answering 3 of these 15 anagrams " ) leads to worse performance than a positively framed one ( " Try to make words from 12 or more of the 15 anagrams " ; Drach -Zahavy and Erez, 2002 ;Roney, Griggs, and Shanks, 2003) . ...
Article
Full-text available
Goal‐setting is among the most valid and practical theories of employee motivation. This conclusion has been reached by multiple authors working independently. The conclusion is based on the fact that the theory has been shown to predict, influence, and explain the behavior of over 40,000 people in numerous countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, England, Germany, Israel, Japan, and the United States), in both laboratory and field settings, involving at least 88 different tasks in occupations that included logging, word processing, engineering, and teaching in a university. Although developed as a theory of motivation in the workplace, it has been used effectively in sport psychology. Most recently the theory has been found useful for promoting the motivational processes of brain‐injured patients.
... While there seems to be evidence for the application of the value function as described in prospect theory, recent advances in the goalsetting literature suggest that the way that goals are communicated changes the effects that they have on performance. For instance, Drach-Zahavy and Erez (2002) showed that describing a goal as challenging resulted in a higher level of performance than if the same goal was described as a threatening one. Also, learning versus performance goals shift attention to either developing task-related abilities (i.e., learning goal) or increasing one's motivation to apply that knowledge (i.e., performance goal) (Chen & Latham, 2014;Latham & Brown, 2006;Seijts, Latham, Tasa, & Latham, 2004). ...
Article
When striving to meet goals, individuals monitor their progress towards achieving them. The discrepancy between their current performance and their goal determines task (dis)satisfaction, and thus whether they will make greater effort. We propose and test a theoretical extension of goal-setting theory, namely that different types of goal standards (minimal or maximal) fundamentally change this monitoring process. Through four experiments we demonstrate that with maximal goals (“ideal” standards), individuals experience greater task satisfaction the nearer their current performance comes to the goal. In contrast, with minimal goals (“at least” standards), their satisfaction level remains low, regardless of how close their performance is to the goal. When goals are exceeded, the reverse applies: with maximal goals, satisfaction remains high regardless of the level of overperformance, while with minimal goals, satisfaction is determined by the level of overperformance. We also demonstrate that task satisfaction levels influence subsequent decisions on goal striving.
... Threats harm individuals or elicit negative emotions, whereas challenges facilitate the mastery of skills and personal growth (LePine, Podsakoff, & LePine, 2005). When the individual values stressful situations because they perceive it as an opportunity for self-growth and they can identify available adjusting strategies, stress will transform into challenge perception (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). Challenges typically exist in stressful conditions (Gerich, 2017) that can motivate a person to solve problems, develop personal competence, and adapt to situations (Brendtro & Strother, 2007). ...
Article
This study developed a formation model of challenge perception for adventure tourists by considering site conditions and activity attributes. Data were collected from tourists who participated in high-altitude mountaineering, scuba diving, and whitewater rafting activities by using a self-administered questionnaire. Responses were analyzed using structural equation modeling and the findings demonstrated that the site-related antecedents (i.e., site wilderness and site difficulty) and the activity-related antecedents (i.e., skill utilization, demands, and interaction) positively affected the tourists’ perceptions of challenge, whereas personal factors exhibited negative effects. This study contributes to tourism literature by including place- and activity-related factors as antecedent variables of perceived challenge and quantifying their influences on challenge perception among adventure tourists. Implications and future research directions are provided.
... Specifically, when will individuals appraise an experience as an identity opportunity versus an identity threat? Existing work indicates that individuals' self-efficacy (Krueger & Dickson, 1993), availability of coping strategies (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002), and degree of time pressure and time control (Ohly & Fritz, 2010) influence the likelihood of experiencing opportunities versus threats in general. It is less clear if these same factors will apply in the context of identity opportunities and threats. ...
... In fact, Post (2005) reveals that altruistic behaviors and emotions are associated with high levels of well-being, health and longevity as long as people are not submerged by the helping tasks. In this sense, it is worth noting that people who developed the habit to think at issues as challenges instead of threats are more likely to think and act in productive way and to diminish negative stress (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Ford & Smith, 2007). Therefore, it is important to help people developing a sense of trust in their capacities to progress toward a goal (Ford & Smith, 2007). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Recently, there has been a call for career counseling interventions that promote the construction of a more humane sustainable world. In fact, contemporary world is facing collateral crises at various levels, and career counselors should be able to help their clients to make career choices that are in accordance with ethical principles and tackle these emergencies. This is likely to contribute both to help solving these crises and to allow career clients to find meaning in their work. The aim of this chapter is to propose a career counseling intervention that help counselees to design their career pathway in ways that can contribute to a fair and sustainable human and global development. The chapter presents the development and the initial validation of the Sustainable Career Cards Sort (SCCS), an innovative cards sort tool aiming at connecting the clients’ current career concerns with those of the world. The suggested intervention comprises reflective activities on pictures representing the most important world’s crises. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
... Measurement of challenge-and threat-related stress relied on scales by Drach-Zahavy and Erez (2002). Unlike many others, their scales answer Cox's (1985) call to measure stress as a self-reported state and avoid confounding antecedents, psychological state of being stressed, and consequences. ...
Article
Full-text available
Ethical aspects of management control systems (MCS) are attracting increasing attention among scholars and practitioners. Much of the work centers on their aims. We complement this scholarship by applying the ethical principle of “no harm,” i.e., non-maleficence, to examine how those aims are achieved. We illustrate this approach by exploring the effects of four MCS designs on job-related stress drawing on the differentiation of stress into two dimensions: a challenge (i.e., unproblematic and even desirable) and a threat dimension (i.e., dangerous; causing psychological strain). Results from a lagged field-survey with 471 managers and employees from the UK and the U.S. support key predictions and offer first insights into designing MCS based on a “no harm” ethics. Our study highlights the benefits of interdisciplinary research in business ethics and hopefully encourages more work on MCS from a perspective based on the non-maleficence principle.
... Stress reactions have been widely investigated with a focus on task performance, demonstrating that the degree with which stress intensity impacts on task performance greatly depends on the way the person faced with this situation interprets it. While threat-characterized by the feeling that resources are missing for successful task completion-has been shown to impede performance, challenge-characterized by the feeling that successful coping is possible with the resources at hand-is related to better test results [32][33][34][35][36]. Whether different intensities of social rejection also affect performance in social cooperative interactions, however, remains unclear, as the two goals (connecting vs. performing) might work against each other for instance due to a competition of limited attentional resources [37,38]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Perceived rejection plays an important role for mental health and social integration. This study investigated the impact of rejection intensity and rejection sensitivity on social approach behavior. Method 121 female participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions differing in the degree of induced rejection (inclusion, medium rejection, severe rejection). Thereafter they were asked to interact with an unknown person during a touch-based cooperative task. Results Participants high in rejection sensitivity sought significantly less physical contact than participants low in rejection sensitivity. Individuals in the medium rejection condition touched their partners more often than those in the included condition, while no difference between included and severely rejected participants could be observed. Conclusions The results suggest that the intensity of rejection matters with regard to coping. While participants in the medium intensity rejection condition aimed to ‘repair’ their social self by seeking increased contact with others, severely rejected participants did not adapt their behavior compared to included participants. Implications for therapy are discussed.
... » (Ilgner, 2006). Il ou elle peut également proposer à la personne de réfléchir à ce qui pourrait arriver de mieux dans cette situation, afin de l'encourager à se focaliser sur les occasions favorables plutôt que sur les menaces (e.g., Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002 ;McGonigal, 2015). ...
Book
Dans un monde en constante mutation, les individus qui cherchent à s'orienter peuvent rencontrer une multitude de difficultés. Ces dernières années, une myriade d'outils de conseil a ainsi été développée pour que les psychologues en orientation puissent offrir un accompagnement le plus adapté possible. Pour guider la sélection de tels outils, cet ouvrage propose une "carte" d'interventions utiles pour répondre à 63 difficultés fréquentes d'orientation, telles que le manque de motivation, l'indécision chronique, ou encore une faible employabilité. Au total, plus de 160 interventions qualitatives, issues de la psychologie du conseil et de l'orientation, de la psychologie positive et des approches systémiques et motivationnelles, sont proposées et décrites. En complément, un inventaire et un jeu de cartes sont proposés pour faciliter l'identification des obstacles au choix professionnel et à la gestion de carrière. Plus d'informations et possibilités de commande sur le site www.shekinarochat.com
... Threat reactions are considered maladaptive as vascular resistance reduces the delivery of oxygenated blood to the brain and peripheral tissues, which may impair performance in demanding situations and interfere with efficient cardiovascular recovery following acute stressors (Kelsey et al. 1999;McLaughlin et al. 2014). Indeed, threat reactivity profiles are related to poorer cognitive and behavioral performance on active tasks (Drach-Zahavy and Erez 2002;Jamieson et al. 2012) and individuals with a history of childhood maltreatment display greater threat-related cardiovascular reactivity which is related to greater externalizing behavioral problems (McLaughlin et al. 2014). In contrast, challenge states are linked to better cognitive performance in domains such as pattern-detection, cooperative games, and decision-making tasks Kassam et al. 2009;Mendes et al. 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Mindfulness-based interventions have been found to reduce psychological and physiological stress reactivity. In obesity, however, stress reactivity is complex, with studies showing both exaggerated and blunted physiological responses to stressors. A nuanced view of stress reactivity is the “challenge and threat” framework, which defines adaptive and maladaptive patterns of psychophysiological stress reactivity. We hypothesized that mindfulness training would facilitate increased challenge-related appraisals, emotions, and cardiovascular reactivity, including sympathetic nervous system activation paired with increased cardiac output (CO) and reduced total peripheral resistance (TPR) compared to a control group, which would exhibit an increased threat pattern of psychophysiological reactivity to repeated stressors. Methods Adults (N = 194) with obesity were randomized to a 5.5-month mindfulness-based weight loss intervention or an active control condition with identical diet-exercise guidelines. Participants were assessed at baseline and 4.5 months later using the Trier Social Stress Task. Electrocardiogram, impedance cardiography, and blood pressure were acquired at rest and during the speech and verbal arithmetic tasks to assess pre-ejection period (PEP), CO, and TPR reactivity. Results Mindfulness participants showed significantly greater maintenance of challenge-related emotions and cardiovascular reactivity patterns (higher CO and lower TPR) from pre- to post-intervention compared to control participants, but groups did not differ in PEP. Findings were independent of changes in body mass index. Conclusions Mindfulness training may increase the ability to maintain a positive outlook and mount adaptive cardiovascular responses to repeated stressors among persons with obesity though findings need to be replicated in other populations and using other forms of mindfulness interventions.
... Related research has found that goals perceived to be exceedingly difficult by supervisors are more likely to be viewed as a hindrance stressor for employees (Mawritz, Folger & Latham, 2014). This line of research which includes survey and experimental studies assumes that it is the appraisal of these difficult goals as a challenge or a hindrance which determines their eventual outcomes (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002). In line with these empirical studies and cognitive appraisal theory of stress and coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), we believe that the outcomes of core job characteristics vary as to whether they are viewed by the individual as challenging or threatening. ...
Article
This study contributes to research on core job characteristics by examining when employees may perceive enriched jobs as a hindrance stressor and in turn may experience lower performance at work. Utilizing time‐lagged data collected from a sample of 386 employee–coworker dyads and drawing on cognitive appraisal theory of stress and coping, we explore the mediating role of hindrance stressors on the relationship between core job characteristics and key employee performance outcomes (i.e., creativity, counterproductive work behaviors, in‐role performance, and organizational citizenship behaviors) and the moderating roles of cultural values (i.e., power distance and uncertainty avoidance) in influencing this mediation. The results supported the hypotheses, providing evidence that the experience of hindrance stressors mediates the relationship between core job characteristics and job performance outcomes when employees score high on power distance and uncertainty avoidance cultural values, and not when their scores on these cultural values were low. Practical implications and future research are discussed.
... This theoretical framework has proven useful in describing and predicting behavior across a wide variety of motivated performance tasks (e.g., Alter, Aronson, Darley, Rodriguez, & Ruble, 2010;Blascovich, Mendes, Hunter, Lickel, & Kowai-Bell, 2001;Brimmell, Parker, Furley, & Moore, 2018;Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Harvey, Nathens, Bandiera, & LeBlanc, 2010;Jamieson, Mendes, Blackstock, & Schmader, 2010;Mendes, Blascovich, Lickel, & Hunter, 2002;Mendes, Blascovich, Major, & Seery, 2001;Mendes, Gray, Mendoza-Denton, Major, & Epel, 2007;Quigley et al., 2002;Skinner & Brewer, 2002;Streamer, Seery, Kondrak, Lamarche, & Saltsman, 2017;Zilka, Rahimi, & Cohen, 2019). However, early adoption of a dichotomous challenge/threat approach led some investigators to assume that the physiological reactivity of all individuals in a sample can be simply categorized into one of these two orthogonal biopsychological states. ...
Article
We utilized a data-driven, unsupervised machine learning approach to examine patterns of peripheral physiological responses during a motivated performance context across two large, independent data sets, each with multiple peripheral physiological measures. Results revealed that patterns of cardiovascular response commonly associated with challenge and threat states emerged as two of the predominant patterns of peripheral physiological responding within both samples, with these two patterns best differentiated by reactivity in cardiac output, pre-ejection period, interbeat interval, and total peripheral resistance. However, we also identified a third, relatively large group of apparent physiological nonresponders who exhibited minimal reactivity across all physiological measures in the motivated performance context. This group of nonresponders was best differentiated from the others by minimal increases in electrodermal activity. We discuss implications for identifying and characterizing this third group of individuals in future research on physiological patterns of challenge and threat.
... By contrast, when a person evaluates the situation as a source of failure and does not find appropriate coping strategies to manage the demands, stress is perceived a potential threat. These appraisals influence performance in different ways, such as challenge appraisal enhances performance, whereas threat appraisal adversely affects performance (Drach-Zahavy and Erez, 2002;González-Morales and Neves, 2015;Locke and Latham, 2019). Combined with Hypothesis 1, a dual-process model emerges whereby paradoxical tensions influence performance. ...
Thesis
Thriving in increasingly complex and ambiguous work environments requires paradoxical leadership - the capacity to lead through interwoven and shifting tensions. But what is the impact of paradoxical leader behavior on subordinates? A growing body of research suggests that paradoxical leader behavior promotes organizational growth and sustainability in the long-term. In the short term, however, paradoxical leaders may also, trigger defensive and adverse consequences. In this thesis, I unpack the dynamic psychological processes that channel the dual effects of paradoxical leader behavior. I use work stressors lens to postulate for two competing theoretical perspectives, one, grounded in the tenets of uncertainty reduction theory, positing that paradoxical leader behavior engenders hindrance stressors for subordinates, another, grounded in paradox and goal setting theory, positing that paradoxical leader behavior creates challenge stressors for subordinates. I, then, elaborate on the underlying motivational processes and examine the contingencies – leader’s use of humor and subordinate’s paradox mindset on the relationship between paradoxical leader behavior and work stressors. The results from two studies (Study 1: N = 235; Study 2: N = 108, total weekly observations = 1,038) provide timely insights to theory and practice by examining the construct validity of paradox leader behavior in Study 1 followed by examining the effect of paradox leader behavior on subordinate’s work stressors, motivation, and work engagement in Study 2.
... Based on this awareness, some notable studies have proposed the concept of proactive coping, which refers to a future stressful event that has not yet occurred but that can be predicted, a definition that differs from the traditional coping concept that deals only with stressful events that have been addressed in the past or present (e.g., Aspinwall & Taylor, 1997;Greenglass et al., 1999). Thus, proactive coping is the process of minimizing the negative impact of future stressors, which means the following: challenging them without looking at them as threats; recognizing that there is a coping strategy available for future stressful events; and trying to successfully prevent and resolve stress in an attempt to use them as an opportunity for self-growth (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Folkman & Lazarus, 1980;Schwarzer & Taubert, 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that sense of power is associated with happiness and mental illness. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship is relatively unexplored. This study aimed to examine whether proactive coping mediated the relationship between power and mental illness and between power and happiness. Specifically, we predicted that power—which is associated with goal-oriented tendencies, high-level construals, and positive characteristics—activates the use of proactive coping strategies, which in turn leads to greater happiness and less mental illness. By carrying out a survey (Study 1, N = 150) and an experiment (Study 2, N = 143), we found results that were consistent with our predictions. Overall, this study demonstrates the psychological mechanisms behind the influence of power on happiness and mental illness from the perspective of coping.
... This includes factors creating conditions with "high demands and high stakes" (Gutnick et al., 2012, p. 190). Prior lab experiments have influenced perceived task demands and consequences by increasing perceptions of task difficulty (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002) and by introducing aversive consequences for low performance (Spoelma & Ellis, 2017). Drawing from these past manipulations, participants in the performance pressure condition were told: This is a high-stakes task that simulates the mental abilities one may need to use in an organization. ...
Article
Full-text available
Pressure to perform is ubiquitous in organizations. Although performance pressure produces beneficial outcomes, it can also encourage cheating behavior. However, removing performance pressure altogether to reduce cheating is not only impractical but also eliminates pressure's benefits. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to test an intervention to counteract some of the most harmful effects of performance pressure. Specifically, I integrate the self-protection model of workplace cheating (Mitchell et al., 2018) with self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988) to demonstrate the utility of a personal values affirmation intervention to short-circuit the direct and indirect effects of performance pressure on cheating through anger and self-serving cognitions. Two experiments were used to test these predictions. In a lab experiment, when people affirmed core personal values, the effect of performance pressure on cheating was neutralized; as was pressure's direct effect on anger and indirect effect on cheating via anger. A field experiment replicated the intervention's ability to mitigate performance pressure's direct effect on anger and indirect effect on cheating through anger. Altogether, this work provides a useful approach for combating the harmful effects of performance pressure and offers several theoretical and practical implications. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... By varying the instructional set, they were able to obtain physiological responses that suggested either a challenge appraisal or a threat appraisal. A study by Drach-Zahavy and Erez (2002) also varied the instructional set to correspond to either challenge or threat appraisals and found that appraisal instructions led to differences in performance outcomes. Manipulating appraisals would have greater applicability by demonstrating that it may be possible to yield performance effects in a single exposure without false feedback or prior practice. ...
Article
Full-text available
The study explored whether the association between family cohesion and academic engagement was affected by students’ perceptions of cognitive pressure. Participants were 168 undergraduate students (84 males and 84 females, Mean age = 18.21, SD = 2.07 years), randomly drawn from a tertiary educational institution in South-eastern Nigeria. Measures for data collection were the Students Engagement Instrument (SEI), Family Cohesion Scale (FCS), and Presentation of a Cognitive Appraisal Scenario (CAS). We employed the Hayes PROCESS macro for SPSS, which has a regression-based path-logical frame in data analyses. Results showed that family cohesion had a positive association with academic engagement, but cognitive stress appraisal had no significant association with academic engagement. Cognitive stress appraisal moderated the association between family cohesion and academic engagement. Family cohesion has an association with greater academic engagement for students especially in the challenge cognitive stress appraisal condition, than those in the threat cognitive stress appraisal condition, but not for those in the control cognitive stress appraisal condition. The finding suggests that having a challenging cognitive stress appraisal and threatening cognitive stress appraisal has a link with increasing family cohesion, and contributing to higher levels of students’ academic engagement. The findings may help advance the educational engagement of students in utmost institutions of advanced literacy.
... By contrast, when a person evaluates the situation as a source of failure and does not find appropriate coping strategies to manage the demands, stress is perceived a potential threat. These appraisals influence performance in different ways, such as challenge appraisal enhances performance, whereas threat appraisal adversely affects performance (Drach-Zahavy and Erez, 2002;González-Morales and Neves, 2015;Locke and Latham, 2019). Combined with Hypothesis 1, a dual-process model emerges whereby paradoxical tensions influence performance. ...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on the paradox theory, the author developed a theoretical model of appraisal–motivational responses to generic paradoxical tensions. The author postulated that paradoxical tensions are appraised both as a challenge and as a threat, in turn prompting mixed effects, positive and negative, on performance. The dual effects of paradoxical tensions are explained by the intermittent role of motivation toward work and a dispositional boundary condition—individual' adaptability—cross-situation variability of behaviors. The results from an eight-wave weekly repeated measures study spanning a period of 2 months ( N = 178, total observations = 1,355) provided support for the proposed theoretical model. By illuminating the nuanced intraindividual psychological process, the present study brings forward novel insights on cognitive appraisals and motivations of paradoxical tensions advancing microfoundation of the paradox research.
... Threat and challenge appraisals are reflected to different degrees in each of the stressors and therefore correlate differently to performance depending on individual and situational differences (Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). In addition, threat and challenge appraisals are not mutually exclusive, as they may occur simultaneously for a given stressor: the greater the perceived threat and the lower the perceived challenge, the higher the resulting negative effect on a person's performance . ...
... Such threats likely interfere with individual performance at work and negatively relate to levels of well-being (cf. Drach-Zahavy & Erez, 2002;Schmid & Muldoon, 2015). Consequently, employers should be aware of these additional stressors when evaluating productivity and performance levels in times of major macro-level events. ...
Article
With this study, we examine work-related phenomena that may convey the relationship between a macropolitical event (i.e., Brexit) and personal well-being in a sample of UK-based academics. Drawing on transactional stress theory, we propose an appraisal-based mediation model. Specifically, we argue that cognitive appraisal of Brexit relates to job (in)security and the relationship quality with co-workers which represent indicators of the fundamental humgan needs for safety and belonging and thus, relate to personal well-being. We conducted a three-wave panel study, the final sample consisted of 115 individuals, and we used Bayesian path analysis to test the presumed hypotheses. Results revealed that academics in this sample predominantly appraised Brexit as threatening and less as challenging. As expected, threat appraisal related to more qualitative job insecurity and worse well-being. Further, deviating from communal appraisal (i.e., appraising Brexit as challenging) related to deteriorating relationship quality and lower well-being. Our findings illustrate the relevance of an appraisal-based perspective when researching controversial shared events. They further outline that cognitive appraisal likely occurs in a social context whereby challenge appraisal may entail a dark side when it indicates a deviation from peers' norms.
Thesis
La plupart des recherches a montré que l’effet de la menace du stéréotype pouvait être renforcé par l'essentialisme psychologique, c’est-à-dire par la croyance selon laquelle les caractéristiques de surface d’un groupe s’expliqueraient par une essence sous-jacente partagée par les membres de ce groupe. Dans cette thèse, nous envisageons le processus inverse en faisant l’hypothèse que la menace du stéréotype peut elle-même renforcer l’essentialisme psychologique. Selon nous, cet effet répondrait au besoin de justifier ou de rationaliser la situation d'échec dans laquelle la menace du stéréotype peut nous plonger. Ainsi, l'essentialisme offrirait cette possibilité car il serait plus confortable d’attribuer un échec à sa propre nature plutôt qu’à un manque d'apprentissage ou d'effort. De manière générale, l'essentialisme est étudié pour ses effets négatifs dans divers domaines et spécifiquement dans le paradigme de la menace du stéréotype. L'objectif englobant notre thèse est de dépasser cette conception sans toutefois la renier. Ainsi, nous tenterons d'observer l'utilité d'une telle croyance. En effet, il est possible de se demander, alors même que l’essentialisation peut renforcer la discrimination, pourquoi certaines personnes qui en sont elles-mêmes victimes usent de l’essentialisme en retour. Nous défendrons l’idée d’un essentialisme susceptible de constituer une stratégie défensive de soi, singulièrement efficace à un niveau individuel mais beaucoup moins désirable à un niveau plus groupal. Cette idée est particulièrement applicable à la menace du stéréotype dans notre optique de justification d’un échec. L'autre objectif général est d'étudier les tenants et aboutissants idéologiques de la menace du stéréotype.
Article
Full-text available
First-generation students (FGS) are more likely to feel misplaced and struggle at university than students with university-educated parents (continuous-generation students; CGS). We assumed that the shutdowns during the Coronavirus-pandemic would particularly threaten FGS due to obstructed coping mechanisms. Specifically, FGS may show lower identification with the academic setting and lower perceived fairness of the university system (system justification). We investigated whether FGS and CGS used different defenses to cope with the shutdown threat in a large sample of German-speaking students (N = 848). Using Structural Equation Modeling, we found that for all students, independent of academic parental background, high levels of system justification were associated with perceiving the learning situation as less threatening, better coping with failure, and less helplessness. However, in comparison to CGS, FGS showed small but significant reductions in system justification and relied more on concrete personal relationships with other students as well as their academic identity to cope with the threatening situation. We discuss implications for helping FGS succeed at university.
Article
Introduction: Virtual reality (VR)-based interventions, wearable technology and text mining hold promising potential for advancing the way in which military and Veteran mental health conditions are diagnosed and treated. They have the ability to improve treatment protocol adherence, assist in the detection of mental health conditions, enhance resilience and increase a patient’s motivation to continue therapy. Methods: This article explores five cutting-edge research projects designed to leverage VR-based interventions, wearable technology, and text mining to improve military and Veteran mental health. A computer-animated virtual agent provides online coaching for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients in their own homes to enhance treatment compliance. A head-mounted display safely immerses PTSD patients in a virtual world to relive past experiences and associate them with new meanings. Gaming and simulation technology are tested as a way to improve resilience and performance in military members in deployment-related scenarios. Guidelines are developed for the creation of wearable assistive technology for military members and Veterans. Text mining is explored as a way to assist in the detection of PTSD. Results: VR-based therapy, gaming and simulation, wearable assistive and sensory technology, and text mining hold promise for diagnosing, monitoring, and treating military mental health conditions. Discussion: The five research projects presented have made promising contributions to the field of military and Veteran mental health, either by advancing diagnostic trajectories, contributing to therapy or enhancing the process by developing new approaches to delivering preventive or curative care.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of cognitive appraisal styles (i.e., threat vs. challenge) and feedback types on feedback acceptance and motivation for challenge. We used four feedback types based on valence (positive vs. negative) and orientation (person vs. task). Sixth-graders completed the cognitive appraisal style questionnaire and wrote an essay on their use of smartphones. One week after the writing, they received feedback, and their feedback acceptance and motivation for challenge were measured. Effective feedback types varied depending on students’ appraisal styles. The challenge style demonstrated the highest feedback acceptance for positive task-oriented feedback. Negative task-oriented feedback was the most effective for the threat style. The challenge style showed higher motivation for challenge when receiving positive task-oriented and negative person-oriented feedbacks, whereas the threat style did not. Educators should be encouraged to provide personalized feedback based on students’ cognitive appraisal styles to maximize feedback effects.
Article
Drawing on the career construction and cognitive appraisal theory, this study constructs a moderated mediation model to explore the mechanism of career decision ambiguity tolerance preference (CDAT-P) on career adaptability via challenge appraisal, as well as the interactive effect of individual and organizational career management. Participants comprised 1023 Chinese university students who completed questionnaires with a three-wave design. The results show that CDAT-P positively predicts career adaptability, and challenge appraisal mediates the direct effect. Moreover, individual career management and organizational career management have an interactive effect on the direct relationship between CDAT-P and challenge appraisal and the first stage of the mediating effect. Specifically, when individual and organizational career management are high, the positive direct effect of CDAT-P on challenge appraisal and the mediating effect are stronger.
Article
Full-text available
The SMART acronym (e.g., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound) is a highly prominent strategy for setting physical activity goals. While it is intuitive, and its practical value has been recognised, the scientific underpinnings of the SMART acronym are less clear. Therefore, we aimed to narratively review and critically examine the scientific underpinnings of the SMART acronym and its application in physical activity promotion. Specifically, our review suggests that the SMART acronym: is not based on scientific theory; is not consistent with empirical evidence; does not consider what type of goal is set; is not applied consistently; is lacking detailed guidance; has redundancy in its criteria; is not being used as originally intended; and has a risk of potentially harmful effects. These issues are likely leading to sub-optimal outcomes, confusion, and inconsistency. Recommendations are provided to guide the field towards better practice and, ultimately, more effective goal setting interventions to help individuals become physically active.
Article
This study examined the operation of resources as a mechanism underlying the relationship between career adaptability and career satisfaction. Based on career construction theory and conservation of resources theory, we examined the interactive effects of career adaptability, career satisfaction, person–job fit, and job uncertainty. The results of two-wave data collection from 234 full-time workers revealed that employees with stronger career adaptability were more likely to report career satisfaction. The full mediating effect was found of person–job fit. Specifically, we found that career adaptability enhances person–job fit, which results in greater career satisfaction. Additional analysis revealed that job uncertainty interferes with the mediation model. We identified a new antecedent of career satisfaction (i.e., person–job fit) and revealed the functional mechanism underlying the effect of this antecedent. This study provides novel insights valuable to the field of career management.
Article
Executive social irresponsibility has received increasing research attention in recent years, following the consensus for a broader stakeholder approach to managerial decision making. Despite the importance of the subject, there remains insufficient research on contextual factors that mold executives’ orientation toward social responsibility. Through three studies, we demonstrate that difficult business goals can reduce executives’ tendency to consider social responsibility in their decision making. Further, we find that focalism—a cognitive bias based on affective forecasting theory—can mediate positive relationships between business goal difficulty and socially irresponsible executive behavior. Our findings also suggest that, expanding executives’ thought processes beyond the narrow focus of a business goal achievement can be a good strategy in reducing socially irresponsible executive behavior, even in the presence of difficult goals.
Article
Full-text available
The stressors of teaching can be individual and hard to identify. Merely recalling stressful events after a lesson can be biased by neglect, modification, or extenuation of memories. Therefore, the present study explores how video data can be used to reactivate or relive stressor memory. Eight teachers’ lessons were recorded while their stress was assessed through electrodermal activity (EDA). Teachers then watched their recorded lessons retrospectively while EDA was measured once more but they were additionally asked to use a joystick to indicate when they recalled being stressed during their lesson. Results show that teachers in the watching condition did not re-experience or recall the same situations as stressful as in the teaching condition. They indicate that video feedback can be used as a tool for coping with stressful teaching events only if teachers are also provided with information about their actual stress level during teaching. The implications of these results are discussed.
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel … lernst du, wie wichtig Motivation für unsere Lebensziele ist. Sie ist der Treibstoff, der uns die Kraft gibt, uns auf unsere Ziele zuzubewegen. Bist du motiviert, bist du auch bereit, alles dafür zu tun, damit du an deinem Ziel ankommst. Mangel an Motivation ist schuld daran, dass so viele Ziele unerreicht bleiben. Ohne eine ordentliche Dosis an Motivation kannst du keine bedeutende Arbeit leisten und keinen Traum verwirklichen – und wenn, dann nur mit mittelmäßigen Ergebnissen. Motivation ist auch deshalb so wichtig, weil sie in jedem Aspekt des Lebens zum Tragen kommt, ob im privaten oder im beruflichen Bereich. Du wirst einige Methoden kennenlernen, die dir dabei helfen können, deine innere Kraft und Stärke in Motivation umzuwandeln. Was tust du, wenn der Wunsch da ist, aber die Motivation, dich ins Zeug zu legen, fehlt? Und was, wenn die Motivation mit der Zeit nachlässt? Lass uns die Antwort auf diese Fragen gemeinsam finden!
Article
Full-text available
Artículo de investigación Reward, a driver to creativity: mediating role of appraisals of reward between self efficacy and creative performance Recompensa, un conductor a la creatividad; mediar el papel de las evaluaciones de la recompensa entre la autoeficiencia y el desempeño creativo Recompensa, um motorista para a criatividade; papel mediador das avaliações de recompensa entre auto eficácia e desempenho criativo Abstract The purpose of this dyadic study was to explore the insight that trigger the creative performance. For such purpose self-efficacy and rewards in shape of challenge and threat appraisal were used. A Survey was conducted to collect the data from the public and private sector organizations related to technical education in Punjab. Sample was the faculty member working on positions of instructors, senior instructor and lectures. A total of 302 respondents were analyzed. The results of the analysis show that there is significant relationship among self-efficacy and creative performance. The mediation analysis also shows that challenge appraisal of rewards for creativity and threat appraisal of reward also worked as mediator. Consequently, we reached at the point that having high level of self-efficacy, individuals in technical education organizations appraises the reward as a challenge and perform creatively. And on the other side having low level of self-efficacy, but appraising the Reward as a threat, tends to impact negatively on creative performance. Resumen El propósito de este estudio diádico fue explorar la información que desencadena el rendimiento creativo. Para tal fin se utilizaron la autoeficacia y las recompensas en forma de desafío y evaluación de amenazas. Se realizó una encuesta para recopilar los datos de las organizaciones del sector público y privado relacionadas con la educación técnica en Punjab. La muestra fue el miembro de la facultad que trabaja en posiciones de instructores, instructor senior y conferencias. Se analizaron un total de 302 encuestados. Los resultados del análisis muestran que existe una relación significativa entre la autoeficacia y el rendimiento creativo. El análisis de la mediación también muestra que la evaluación desafiante de las recompensas por la creatividad y la evaluación de la amenaza de recompensa también funcionó como mediador. En consecuencia, llegamos al punto en que, al tener un alto nivel de autoeficacia, los individuos en las organizaciones de educación técnica valoran la recompensa como un desafío y se desempeñan de manera creativa. Por otro lado, tiene un bajo nivel de autoeficacia, pero evaluar la recompensa como una amenaza, tiende a tener un impacto negativo en el rendimiento creativo. Palabras claves: autoeficacia, educación técnica, estudio diádico, evaluación de amenazas. Resumo O objetivo deste estudo diádico foi explorar a percepção que aciona o desempenho criativo. Para esse propósito, a auto-eficácia e as recompensas em forma de desafio e avaliação de ameaça foram usadas. Uma pesquisa foi realizada para coletar os dados das organizações do setor público e privado relacionadas à educação técnica em Punjab. Amostra foi o membro do corpo docente trabalhando em posições de instrutores, instrutor sênior e palestras. Um total de 302 respondentes foi analisado. Os resultados da análise mostram que existe uma relação significativa entre autoeficácia e desempenho criativo. A análise da mediação também mostra que a avaliação de recompensas de recompensas por criatividade e avaliação de ameaças de recompensa também funcionou como mediador. Consequentemente, chegamos ao ponto em que, tendo alto nível de autoeficácia, indivíduos em organizações de educação técnica avaliam a recompensa como um desafio e realizam de forma criativa. Por outro lado, ter baixo nível de autoeficácia, mas avaliar a recompensa como uma ameaça, tende a impactar negativamente no desempenho criativo. Palavras-chave: autoeficácia, educação técnica, estudo diádico, avaliação de ameaça
Article
We examine how heterosexual employees respond to different gay and lesbian disclosure tactics aimed at de-stigmatizing the gay or lesbian identity. Drawing from theories of stigma disclosure, inter-group social identity threat, and heterosexual identity development, we examine how heterosexual employees’ responses to de-stigmatizing disclosure can be explained by their experience of heterosexual identity threat (i.e. the appraisal of disclosure as harmful to the value, meaning, and enactment of their heterosexuality identity) and how this process is shaped by individual differences in heterosexual identity commitment—or, differences in heterosexual employees’ commitment to a heterosexual identity that is fulfilling of their sense of self. Across four studies, we find that heterosexual employees are more threatened by gay and lesbian disclosure that is in opposition to heterosexual norms than disclosure that resonates with heterosexual norms and this threat explains the extent to which they derogate or embrace the gay and lesbian identity. Further, heterosexual employees’ identity commitment buffers their experiences of threat and attenuates the impact of threat on derogating and embracing responses. We discuss the implications of our research for advancing theory and research on stigma and disclosure in organizations, in addition to practical implications toward advancing inclusion through the consideration of majority identities.
Article
Background and objectives: Drawing upon transactional theory, this study examined the interactive effects of daily problem-prevention behaviors and an aspect of personality relevant to stress responses (i.e., behavioral activation) on next-day stress appraisals of problem-solving demands. Design and methods: Data were collected from 188 employees across a range of industries using an initial survey to collect information on personality, followed by twice-daily surveys over five consecutive work days to measure daily problem-prevention, stress appraisals and problem-solving demands. Results: Multilevel analyses revealed that behavioral activation system (BAS) affected stress appraisals in unique ways. As hypothesized, BAS had a positive direct effect on challenge appraisal. It also moderated the effects of problem-prevention on next-day hindrance appraisals, such that the relationship was more strongly positive for individuals with low levels of BAS. Conclusions: The results demonstrate the BAS has implications not just for promoting positive challenge appraisals, but also for alleviating detrimental effects on stress appraisal. Overall, the findings emphasize the value of exploring the interactive effects of day- and person-level factors on stress appraisals, thereby offering a platform for future research.
Article
Full-text available
The summer semester had just begun at Austrian and German universities when Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Thus, in March 2020, all universities closed their campuses, switching to distance learning within the span of about a single day. How did lecturers handle the situation? Were they still able to turn the situation into a positive one? What were the main obstacles with this difficult situation, and where there conditions which helped them to overcome the new challenges? These are research questions of the present survey with a sample of 1,152 lecturers at universities in Austria and Germany. The survey focuses on the lecturers’ appraisals of the novel situation as challenging or threatful. These appraisals are important for approaching a situation or shying away from it. However, how well a person adjusts to a novel situation is also influenced by personal and environmental resources which help to overcome the situation. The present survey focused on four possible sources of influence: internal assessments of the situation determining it to be threatening and/or challenging, personal resources, attitudes, and support by the organization. It was investigated to which degree these sources of influence could contribute to the lecturers’ satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with their teaching processes.
Article
Full-text available
The current study utilized trait activation theory (TAT) (Tett & Burnett, 2003; Tett et al., 2013) to explain how the salience of goal-relevant performance-oriented social (i.e., manager’s transformational leadership, peer performance norms) and organizational cues (i.e., reward expectancy) release or constrain employees’ achievement striving (AS) personality trait and regulate the commitment to assigned difficult work goals. We also examined the effects of discretionary cues (signified by psychological empowerment) as trait activators. Hypotheses were tested using survey data collected from 297 managers employed in six large firms operating under a large Turkish family business group and using a common management-by-objectives system. In line with our predictions, when goals were perceived to be difficult, the associations between situational cues and goal commitment were inverse for employees with high vs. low AS. When goal difficulty was high, performance-oriented situational cues were generally positively related to goal commitment for employees with high AS, but the relationships were negative for those with low AS. The results also showed that, for commitment to difficult goals, psychological empowerment activated the expression of high and low AS in a similar manner. Overall, the findings challenge the prevailing universalistic approaches to goal motivation.
Article
Purpose Scholars in the feedback seeking domain have predominantly focused on subordinate feedback seeking. The authors still know very little about feedback seeking when the leader is the “seeker” and subordinates are the “targets” of such seeking. This paper aims to develop a theoretical framework that explores the potential benefits and costs of leader feedback seeking, specifically, leader feedback inquiry for subordinates. Design/methodology/approach The authors draw upon the transactional theory of stress to propose a framework in which leader feedback inquiry influences two subordinate behaviors (in-role and proactive skill development behaviors) via appraisal processes (challenge and threat appraisals). With insights from regulatory focus theory, the authors propose that individual characteristics, namely, the regulatory focus of subordinates (promotion and prevention focus), determine the appraisals of leader feedback inquiry, subsequently influencing subordinate behavioral outcomes. Findings The authors contend that leader feedback inquiry can be appraised as a challenge which then produces beneficial subordinate behaviors (i.e. higher in-role and proactive skill development behaviors). However, leader feedback inquiry can also be appraised as a threat which then elicits detrimental subordinate behaviors (i.e. lower in-role and proactive skill development behaviors). The authors then argue that subordinates with a high promotion focus appraise leader feedback inquiry as challenging, thereby enabling beneficial behaviors. Subordinates with a high prevention focus, by contrast, appraise leader feedback inquiry as threatening, thereby prompting detrimental behaviors. Originality/value The authors shed light on the benefits and costs of leader feedback seeking for subordinates. The resulting framework underlines the importance of including individual characteristics and cognitive appraisal processes in research investigating the effects of leader feedback inquiry on subordinate outcomes.
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests non-specific goals may be beneficial for physical activity adoption, however, it is currently unclear which variation of non-specific goal is most beneficial. Therefore, this study compared open, do-your-best, as-well-as-possible, SMART goals and no instruction (control) on distance walked during a series of six-minute walk tests, as well as ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), mental effort, autonomy, and interest in further exercise. In total, 82 healthy adults ranging from high to low levels of physical activity (59 women; 23 men; Mage = 48.10) took part. Participants were randomly assigned to either: open goals; do-your-best goals; as-well-as-possible goals; SMART goals; or control. Participants in the goal groups completed a baseline and then two manipulated attempts of the six-minute walk test, while the control group followed the baseline instructions for all three attempts. There was no significant difference in the distance walked by participants pursuing open, do-your-best, as-well-as-possible and SMART goals; all of whom walked significantly further than participants in the control. Open, do-your-best and SMART goals resulted in significantly higher RPE than control. Do-your-best goals resulted in significantly greater mental effort compared to control. Open goals resulted in significantly higher interest in repeating the session, and significantly higher interest in pursuing a program, compared to control. This study provides further evidence of the potential benefits of non-specific goals for physical activity. Findings suggest each version of non-specific goals leads to different psychological outcomes, and that open goals may be the most beneficial form of non-specific goals for physical activity.
Article
Full-text available
The consumer behavior literature extensively studied the impact of goal setting on behavior and performance. However, much less is known about the antecedents of goal level setting – consumers’ decision of whether to work out twice or three times per week. Consumers can decide how many goal-consistent activities to undertake (‘goal-consistent decision frame’; such as exercising two days per week) or to forego (‘goal-inconsistent decision frame’; such as not exercising five days per week). While objectively the same decision, we argue that these different frames impact consumers’ ambition. Making a decision to forego goal-consistent activities triggers negative, self-evaluative emotions and to compensate for these unfavorable self-evaluations, consumers set more ambitious goal levels. Across a variety of contexts, consumers are more ambitious when their focal decision is inconsistent with goal achievement. For instance, they decide to work out more often when they decide how many work-out sessions they would skip (versus attend). The impact of goal-inconsistent decision framing is mitigated when the activity is less instrumental towards goal achievement, and when negative self-evaluative emotions are alleviated through self-affirmation.
Article
Drawing on goal-setting theory, the current research examines whether the indirect relationship between self-set, rather than assigned or participative, learning goals and an Uber driver’s service performance is positive and significant in an emerging work context, namely, the gig economy. In this regard, we hypothesized that there is a positive, significant relationship between self-set learning goals and a driver’s improvised ways to provide customer service. Building on metacognitive practice, we further hypothesized that a gig driver’s mindful metacognition positively moderates the relationship between improvisation and service performance. The overall hypothesis tested is that the indirect relationship between self-set learning goals and a gig driver’s service performance via improvisation is positive and significant, and this relationship is positively moderated by mindful metacognition. Data were collected from 149 gig drivers. Ordinary least squares regression-based path analyses revealed support for these hypotheses.
Article
Les individus qui font appel aux services de conseil en orientation ne sont pas toujours intrinsèquement motivés à effectuer ou à concrétiser un choix professionnel, ce qui peut entraver le bon déroulement des démarches entreprises. Ce faisant, cet article illustre comment le modèle de la motivation de M. E. Ford peut être utilisé au sein d’une séance de consultation pour comprendre l’origine d’un manque de motivation et adapter le processus de conseil en conséquence. Des pistes pratiques, issues de la recherche scientifique, sont proposées pour répondre de manière ciblée et efficiente à chacune de ces causes possibles.
Article
The aim of this study was to explore in a hospital setting the relationships between work motivation and stress among psychologists working in hospitals. The second aim was to identify the respective roles of threat appraisal and challenge appraisal in this population. We expected work stress to have a motivational impact in the workplace, with primary cognitive appraisal (e.g., threat or challenge) playing a crucial role. The study included a large sample of 430 French psychologists recruited in French hospitals with a mean age of 33.68 ± 8.73 years. We assessed perceived work stress, work motivation, and primary cognitive appraisal. Analysis showed two main outcomes. First, perceived stress in the workplace impacts work motivation; specifically, the higher the perceived stress, the less motivation is self-determined. Second, threat cognitive appraisal has a direct and negative motivational impact, but also an indirect impact via perceived stress. However, appraisal of work as a cognitive challenge also directly and positively impacts motivation in the workplace, without indirect effects. Finally, work stress, work motivation and primary cognitive appraisals are significantly related with the workplace. These relationships support complementarity with the Transactional Model of Stress and SDT motivational approach in a theoretical and practical perspective in the workplace.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating role of threat and challenge appraisals in the relationship between performance pressure and employees' work engagement, as well as the buffering role of emotional stability, as a personal characteristic, in this process. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected using a three-wave research design. Hypotheses were examined with a sample of 247 white-collar employees from French organizations. Findings Performance pressure is appraised as either threat or challenge. Challenge appraisal positively mediated the performance pressure and work engagement relationship, whereas threat appraisal negatively mediated the performance pressure and work engagement relationship. Emotional stability moderated these effects, suggesting performance pressure was appraised as a challenge rather than a threat, which then enhanced employee work engagement. Practical implications This study has shown that employees with high emotional stability who perceived performance pressure as a challenge achieved stronger employee work engagement. Originality/value Building on Lazare's theory of stress and Mitchell et al. 's theorization, this research demonstrates mediating and moderating mechanisms driving the role of performance pressure on employee work engagement relationships.
Article
Objective To understand the mechanisms of action underlying behavioral interventions, researchers typically examine whether the treatment changes cognitions and whether changes in cognition predict behavior (cognitive change). This current research explores an alternative mechanism whereby the intervention increases the impact of pre-existing cognitions on behavior (cognitive activation). We tested whether cognitive change or cognitive activation explains the impact of cigarette pack messages on smoking restraint. Design The research comprised a validation experiment (N = 135) and a 4-week RCT (N = 719) with smokers. Main Outcome Measures At both baseline and follow-up of the RCT, smokers self-reported threat appraisals, coping appraisals, and smoking restraint. Results Intervention messages heightened the accessibility of threat appraisals compared to control messages (validation experiment). In the RCT, smoking restraint increased among intervention participants but not controls. Trial arm showed no corresponding change in threat or coping appraisals. However, trial arm interacted with baseline health cognitions such that synergies between threat appraisal components, and between threat appraisals and coping appraisals, predicted smoking restraint for intervention participants but not for controls. Conclusion Our findings support a cognitive activation process whereby health messages on cigarette packs increase the impact of pre-existing threat appraisals on smoking restraint.
Article
Full-text available
Based on the dualistic model of passion, this study developed a joint moderated–mediating model to investigate the mechanism of dualistic passion on academic thriving. We surveyed 960 Chinese university students with a questionnaire. The results showed that harmonious and obsessive passion positively predicted academic thriving, with the effect of harmonious passion being stronger. Academic personal best goal mediated these relationships. Moreover, threat stress appraisal and academic workload jointly moderated the direct effects of harmonious passion on academic personal best goal and obsessive passion on academic personal best goal, and the first stage of the mediating effects of academic personal best goal between harmonious passion and academic thriving as well as obsessive passion and academic thriving. Specifically, for low–threat stress appraisal and academic workload, the direct effect of harmonious passion on academic personal best goal and the mediating effect of academic personal best goal were stronger. Meanwhile, for high–threat stress appraisal and academic workload, the same applied for obsessive passion. These findings provide important implications for educational practice by highlighting an underlying mechanism of how and when dualistic passion, particularly for obsessive passion, can initiate and maintain academic thriving.
Article
Full-text available
Meeting the psychological, social, and economic challenges of career transitions requires people to be increasingly flexible and hardy. In this article, we propose that envisioning one’s life as a game can foster well-being, coping strategies, and success with career transitions. The SuperBetter approach (McGonigal, 2015. Superbetter: A revolutionary approach to getting stronger, happier, braver and more resilient. Penguin) is presented as a metaphor that can provide clients with a new perspective for their lives and career narratives. The way each component of this metaphor can contribute to individuals’ well-being, motivation and success throughout career transitions is detailed. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Although some research has suggested that customer mistreatment results in employees’ negative behavioral responses, other research has also sought to explore prosocial behavioral responses. We explain these inconsistent findings by considering the employees’ dynamic cognitional appraisals of daily customer mistreatment experience; these distinct cognition appraisals can explain why customer mistreatment could activate both dysfunctional and functional behavioral responses. We assumed that customer mistreatment could elicit an employee’s threat appraisal on some days, thus activating customer-directed counterproductive work behavior (CWB). Customer mistreatment could also result in a challenge appraisal on other days in which an employee focuses on a potential performance improvement opportunity, motivating them to engage in more prosocial service behavior. We predicted that an individual’s core self-evaluation (CSE) could moderate these effects, prompting customer mistreatment to be appraised as a challenge instead of a threat, which then reduces “take an eye for an eye” behavior responses (i.e., customer-directed CWB) and enhances “render good for evil” ones (i.e., prosocial service behavior). Our experience with research on 82 employees across 9 days, resulting in 625 responses, provided support for our predictions. The research provides a more comprehensive theoretical perspective to explain the dual paths of employees’ responses to customer mistreatment and also explains whether individuals’ CSE could help employees cope with customer mistreatment more positively.
Article
Full-text available
Much evidence exists that supports the use of goal setting as a motivational technique for enhancing task performance; however, little attention has been given to the role of task characteristics as potential moderating conditions of goal effects. Meta-analysis procedures were used to assess the moderator effects of task complexity for goal-setting studies conducted from 1966 to 1985 (n = 125). The reliability of the task complexity ratings was .92. Three sets of analyses were conducted: for goal-difficulty results (hard vs. easy), for goal specificity-difficulty (specific difficult goals vs. do-best or no goal), and for all studies collapsed across goal difficulty and goal specificity-difficulty. It was generally found that goal-setting effects were strongest for easy tasks (reaction time, brainstorming), d = .76, and weakest for more complex tasks (business game simulations, scientific and engineering work, faculty research productivity), d = .42. Implications for future research on goal setting and the validity of generalizing results are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
This article analyzes organizational functioning from the perspective of social cognitive theory, which explains psychosocial functioning in terms of triadic reciprocal causation. In this causal structure, behavior, cognitive, and other personal factors and environmental events operate as interacting determinants that influence each other bidirectionally. The application of the theory is illustrated in a series of experiments of complex managerial decision making, using a simulated organization. The interactional causal structure is tested in conjunction with experimentally varied organizational properties and belief systems that can enhance or undermine the operation of the self-regulatory determinants. Induced beliefs about the controllability of organizations and the conception of managerial ability strongly affect both managers' self-regulatory processes and their organizational attainments. Organizational complexity and assigned performance standards also serve as contributing influences. Path analyses reveal that perceived managerial self-efficacy influences managers' organizational attainments both directly and through its effects on their goal setting and analytic thinking. Personal goals, in turn, enhance organizational attainments directly and via the mediation of analytic strategies. As managers begin to form a self-schema of their efficacy through further experience, the performance system is regulated more strongly and intricately through their self-conceptions of managerial efficacy. Although the relative strength of the constituent influences changes with increasing experience, these influences operate together as a triadic reciprocal control system.
Article
Full-text available
Hypotheses regarding the influence of goal assignments on performance of a novel, complex task under varying conditions of practice were derived from a cognitive resource allocation model. Goals and type of practice interacted in their effects on two key performance measures. In the massed-practice conditions, trainees assigned specific, difficult goals tended to perform poorer than trainees in the control (do your best goal) condition. In the spaced-practice conditions, goal trainees performed marginally better than control trainees. Self-report measures of goal commitment, and on-task, off-task, and affective thoughts during breaks and task performance provide additional evidence for the independent and interactive effects of goals and practice conditions on motivation and performance. Results provide further support for the resource allocation framework. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive appraisal theories of stress and emotion propose that cognitive appraisals precede physiological responses, whereas peripheralist theories propose that physiological arousal precedes cognitive processes. Three studies examined this issue regarding threat and challenge responses to potential stress. Study 1 supported cognitive appraisal theory by demonstrating that threat and challenge cognitive appraisals and physiological responses could be elicited experimentally by manipulating instructional set. Studies 2 and 3, in contrast, found that manipulations of physiological response patterns consistent with challenge and threat did not result in corresponding changes in cognitive appraisal. Appraisals in Study 3, however, were related to subjective pain independent of the physiological manipulation. These studies suggest a central role for cognitive appraisal processes in elicitation of threat and challenge responses to potentially stressful situations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Two central constructs of applied psychology, motivation and cognitive ability, were integrated within an information-processing (IPR) framework. This framework simultaneously considers individual differences in cognitive abilities, self-regulatory processes of motivation, and IPR demands. Evidence for the framework is provided in the context of skill acquisition, in which IPR and ability demands change as a function of practice, training paradigm, and timing of goal setting (GS). Three field-based lab experiments were conducted with 1,010 US Air Force trainees. Exp 1 evaluated the basic ability–performance parameters of the air traffic controller task and GS effects early in practice. Exp 2 evaluated GS later in practice. Exp 3 investigated the simultaneous effects of training content, GS and ability–performance interactions. Results support the theoretical framework and have implications for notions of ability–motivation interactions and design of training and motivation programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Whether you're a manager, company psychologist, quality control specialist, or involved with motivating people to work harder in any capacity—Locke and Latham's guide will hand you the keen insight and practical advice you need to reach even your toughest cases. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Much evidence exists that supports the use of goal setting as a motivational technique for enhancing task performance; however, little attention has been given to the role of task characteristics as potential moderating conditions of goal effects. Meta-analysis procedures were used to assess the moderator effects of task complexity for goal-setting studies conducted from 1966 to 1985 ( n = 125). The reliability of the task complexity ratings was .92. Three sets of analyses were conducted: for goal-difficulty results (hard vs. easy), for goal specificity–difficulty (specific difficult goals vs. do-best or no goal), and for all studies collapsed across goal difficulty and goal specificity–difficulty. It was generally found that goal-setting effects were strongest for easy tasks (reaction time, brainstorming), d = .76, and weakest for more complex tasks (business game simulations, scientific and engineering work, faculty research productivity), d = .42. Implications for future research on goal setting and the validity of generalizing results are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Investigated the functional relations among cognitive appraisal and coping processes and their short-term outcomes within stressful encounters. The authors used an intraindividual analysis of the interrelations among primary appraisal (what was at stake in the encounter), secondary appraisal (coping options), 8 forms of problem- and emotion-focused coping, and encounter outcomes in a sample of 85 married couples (females aged 35–45 yrs and males aged 26–54 yrs). Findings show that coping was strongly related to cognitive appraisal; the forms of coping that were used varied depending on what was at stake and the options for coping. Coping was also differentially related to satisfactory and unsatisfactory encounter outcomes. Findings clarify the functional relations among appraisal and coping variables and the outcomes of stressful encounters. (47 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Specific, difficult goals enhance performance in many tasks. We hypothesize, however, that this effect disappears or reverses for novel tasks that allow multiple alternative strategies. We report findings from three laboratory experiments using a stock market prediction task with these characteristics. In the first study, 34 students made predictions concerning the value of 100 companies' stock based on three manipulated cues after receiving either a "do your best" or a specific, difficult goal concerning the accuracy of their predictions. In the second study, 88 students making stock market predictions received one of the following goals: do your best, specific-easy, specific-moderate, specific-hard, or a tapering, specific goal. The third study ( n = 30) replicated the first study by using a different prediction algorithm for the stock market simulation. Repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance conducted on indexes of prediction accuracy and predictor weightings supported the hypothesis that specific, difficult goals (prediction accuracy) increase an individual's strategy search activity and reduce prediction accuracy for the stock predictions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Job stress researchers are urged to examine job conditions which threaten workers' experienced quality of life. The relationship between measures of job-related strains and well-being is discussed. Past theorizing and research suggests that it is not safe to assume that job conditions which have an adverse impact on affective reactions to the job (a frequently used indicator of job strain) will also have a negative impact on overall subjective well-being. One set of job conditions which may be particularly relevant for well-being is identified and discussed, namely those conditions related to the economic instrumentality of work. Finally, some methodological suggestions for future research in the job stress area are offered.
Article
Investigated the functional relations among cognitive appraisal and coping processes and their short-term outcomes within stressful encounters. The authors used an intraindividual analysis of the interrelations among primary appraisal (what was at stake in the encounter), secondary appraisal (coping options), 8 forms of problem- and emotion-focused coping, and encounter outcomes in a sample of 85 married couples (females aged 35–45 yrs and males aged 26–54 yrs). Findings show that coping was strongly related to cognitive appraisal; the forms of coping that were used varied depending on what was at stake and the options for coping. Coping was also differentially related to satisfactory and unsatisfactory encounter outcomes. Findings clarify the functional relations among appraisal and coping variables and the outcomes of stressful encounters. (47 ref)
Article
The present study examined the mediating role of plans in the relation of job context (task complexity), interpersonal demands (goal assignment), and intrapersonal demands (Type A personality trait) to performance. To assess the relations among the variables, a field study (n=347) was conducted using respondents from 18 different companies across a wide range of jobs. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of planning in task performance.
Article
A field experiment was conducted using 60 subscription processors to assess a variety of potentially mediating variables in the relation of feedback source, specificity, and sign to task performance. The results demonstrate that feedback source and specificity were related to performance but sign was not. In addition, feedback sign was found to indirectly influence performance through the mediating effect of an individual's self-efficacy expectations.
It is argued that L. Neider's study (Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 1980, 26, 425-442) claiming to show the beneficial effects of participation on store sales is open to other interpretations, as are many studies of participative decision making. Neider's study actually had four independent variables: participation; a sales plan; goal setting; and incentives. The first two constituted one condition; the second two another; and all four another. Thus no definitive interpretation of the results is possible. However, an interpretation that is equally, if not more, plausible than Neider's is that goal setting and incentives do not improve performance unless there is an adequate action plan. Participation may be one method of developing and/or gaining commitment to such plans. The general issue of interpretation of experiments is discussed.
Article
Researchers agree that the measurement of stressors and coping in occupational stress research should reflect new approaches and offer alternative frameworks if the different dynamics to the stress process are to be more adequately explored. This research adopted a methodology which reflected the presumed transactional nature of the appraisal process. How individuals appraise, give meaning to, and cope was explored by combining qualitative and quantitative data. Individuals, it seems, can describe the meanings they give to events and how they cope with them. The understanding that can be derived when alternative methodologies are used must lead to a refinement of traditional measurement strategies and a more fruitful avenue for future research.
Article
This paper offers a way of identifying fruitful research avenues through the maze of possibilities existing in the field of occupational stress. The field appears to be at a crossroads in which key choices will have to be made in the 1980s. The choices involve: How should we study stress? Who do we want to study? And what problems should we study? Central methodological challenges include: highlighting the relative value of various methods with respect to the level of explanation and the nature of the audience; examining the meaning and phenomenology of the stress experience; and evaluating the validity of measures in the hope of standardizing diagnostic instruments. Regarding research populations, more care must be devoted to selection of subjects. Subjects who are strained should be selected noting whether the state is acute versus chronic. Researchers should concentrate on blue collar jobs which are demanding but of low discretion; the long term unemployed; chronically threatened job incumbents; the wives of men who are themselves in stressful occupations; women in professional and executive roles; the wives of the unemployed; and single parent families in general. Stress problems worthy of study include: acute versus chronic states of stress; the role of the objective and subjective enrivonment; the relationship between psychological strain and physiological mechanisms; coping behaviours; and the work, family and societal interface. The quality of knowledge of about each of these elements needs to be improved if we are to achieve a more comprehensive analysis of the stress process.
Article
Recent reviews of occupational stress research constantly emphasizes four important themes. These include the need to clarify what we mean by stress since how we define it influences how we research it and thus how we explain our results, the need to reconsider how we measure stressors, the need to explicity recognize the role of coping by developing measures of coping strategies, and the need to consider the role of alternative methodologies in investigating the stress process. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies are used to explore some of these issues. The results point to the value of using qualitative measures to assess the validity of current research practices. A number of issues emerge. When measuring work stressors, more attention should be given to such facets as intensity, frequency, and the meaning individuals attribute to events. Coping also influences individual meaning and future research should explore the nature of direct action and palliative strategies and more thoroughly investigate the appraisal process and its role in shaping stressful events.
Article
The book is the product of a three-day conference on social and psychological factors in stress. The purpose of the conference was to identify crucial issues in this area of stress and to seek potential research approaches to those issues as the focus of the basic contract research program for the sponsor. The document gives a conceptual formulation for research on stress, major substantive and methodological issues, an integrative review of some research on social-psychological factors in stress, and a discussion of strategic considerations for future research on stress.
Article
Examines 4 methodological issues in organizational stress research—problems in defining and measuring stress, career development, the work–family relationship, and the role of social support. Selected conclusions indicate that stress is most logically measured in demand terms, studies need to use more carefully selected samples in terms of career stage, stress research has oversimplified the issue of the work–family relationship, and factors other than emotional social support should be included in the study of the issue of social support. (35 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Past work has documented and described major patterns of adaptive and maladaptive behavior: the mastery-oriented and the helpless patterns. In this article, we present a research-based model that accounts for these patterns in terms of underlying psychological processes. The model specifies how individuals' implicit theories orient them toward particular goals and how these goals set up the different patterns. Indeed, we show how each feature (cognitive, affective, and behavioral) of the adaptive and maladaptive patterns can be seen to follow directly from different goals. We then examine the generality of the model and use it to illuminate phenomena in a wide variety of domains. Finally, we place the model in its broadest context and examine its implications for our understanding of motivational and personality processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Means–ends analysis is a mechanism that is assumed to operate when people solve transformation problems. Its use is affected by the extent to which the goal is clearly specified to the problem solver as a problem state and by the extent to which learning occurs during a problem-solving episode. Five maze-tracing experiments were conducted with 116 undergraduates in which the finish point of the maze could be presented either as a specific location or in more general terms. The latter prevented the use of conventional means–ends analysis. Results indicate that on the particular maze configuration used, the nonspecific goal resulted in fewer errors and more rapid learning of the structure of the problem. Under conditions that facilitated the use of means–ends analyses, knowledge of the goal location rendered the problem insoluble. General results were replicated with the use of numerical problems. Implications for the generality of means–ends analysis as a problem-solving mechanism are discussed. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Investigated the relative contribution of goal setting and task difficulty to performance on a heuristic computer task with 128 undergraduates who attempted to solve either easy or difficult maze puzzles. Each S was assigned either an easy, moderate, or difficult goal or told to do his/her best. One month prior to the experiment, Ss responded to the Neuroticism scale of the Eysenck Personality Inventory to collect data on arousal. Data were also collected on acceptance, commitment, task complexity, and performance. Results show that both goals and task difficulty affected task performance, arousal, and perceptions of task complexity. A linear, rather than curvilinear, relationship was found between task arousal and performance. Contrary to prior research by G. A. Bassett (see record 1980-33518-001), results also show that, when the task was difficult, the setting of a difficult goal led to significantly lower performance. The decrease in performance in the difficult goal condition was attributed to the variation in performance strategy employed by these Ss as opposed to other Ss. It is argued that the setting of difficult goals may not be an effective motivational strategy when a heuristic, rather than algorithmic, solution is needed. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The applicability of R. S. Lazarus and S. Folkman's (1984) cognitive appraisal model of stress was examined in 3 laboratory experiments involving the repeated performance of active (Studies 1, 2, and 3) and passive (Study 3) coping stress tasks (P. A. Obrist, 1981). Threat appraisals of upcoming coping tasks were positively related to Ss' self-reported task stress. Cardiac reactivity during active coping stressors was related positively to challenge appraisals and negatively to threat appraisals. Vascular reactivity, however, was related positively to threat appraisals and negatively to challenge appraisals. During passive coping stressors, cardiac and skin conductance reactivity were related positively to threat appraisals. The fractionation of self-report and physiological measures during active coping was interpreted in terms of energy mobilization and effort. The implications for the use of physiological measures as indicators of stress are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Tested the hypothesis that information about a goal and/or task, choice in setting a strategy to achieve a goal, and task complexity interact to influence goal acceptance, personal goals, and performance. A laboratory experiment with 96 college students working on a class-scheduling task was used to test the hypothesis. The task consisted of producing mock class schedules consisting of 5 nonredundant classes. The Ss were assigned to either high-information, choice manipulation, or task-complexity conditions. Ss were administered a questionnaire assessing goal acceptance, personal goals, and performance prior to and on completion of the task. Results of 3-way ANOVA conducted on measures of goal acceptance, personal goals, and performance supported the hypotheses that choice in goal-setting and the provision of information interact as do information and task complexity. A 2nd study conducted to generalize these findings also supported the hypotheses. In the 2nd study, 40 animal caregivers (average age 28 yrs) were participants in a replication of the laboratory experiment with task complexity as a repeated-measures factor. Findings are discussed as a means of expanding the position of participation within the goal-setting model. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the relationships among goal setting, monetary incentives, 2 indexes of motivation (i.e., effort and direction of behavior), and performance. 60 17-19 yr olds were hired to work on a 1-wk job in a simulated company. Results suggest that goal setting and monetary incentives were related independently to measures of motivation and performance. Incentives, however, had no impact on whether or not Ss set performance goals. The importance of identifying the processes surrounding the effects of stated task goals and monetary incentives on performance is discussed. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
[Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 72(3) of Journal of Applied Psychology (see record 2008-10684-001). Table 1 on page 109 appeared with reversed labels for the high and low conditions. The corrected Table 1 is provided in the erratum.] Although many studies demonstrate the effectiveness of goal setting in organizations, it is unclear how goals actually influence performance. The present studies examined the effect of assigned goals and task information on performance, energy expended, and task planning or organizing. In Study 1, a 2&×&2 (Information&×&Goal) design was used. Subjects were 72 undergraduates working on a business simulation. In Study 2, 129 male and female workers from a service organization and a moving company responded to a survey assessing an individual's goal setting, job training, energy expended during a typical task performance, and task planning undertaken prior to performance. The results of both studies demonstrated that goal setting and task training influenced the dependent variables. In addition to influencing an individual's energy expended (effort and persistence), a specific goal led an individual to plan and organize more than did an individual given a general goal (i.e., "do your best"). The results of both studies suggest that goal setting and task-relevant information influence performance, in part, through their influence on energy expended and planning. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Recent experimental research has examined the determinants of illness-related cognitive appraisals. This work is reviewed and discussed within the context of Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) stress and coping model. The data from this research support and extend the model, but are best accounted for by Leventhal, Nerenz, and Steele's (1984) self-regulation theory of illness behavior. Neither model adequately addresses the role of social comparison and influence, which, together with a motivationally biased system of cognitive appraisal, provides individuals with a highly adaptive repertoire of strategies for maintaining emotional equilibrium and a positive view of their own health status.
Article
In this article, the relation between research emerging from the goals approach to motivation and research emerging from the intrinsic motivation approach is examined. A review of relevant research suggests that factors promoting learning goals (emphasizing the development of competencies) are associated with enhanced intrinsic motivation, and that factors promoting performance goals (emphasizing the evaluation of competence) are associated with diminished intrinsic motivation. It is also suggested that important aspects of the goals approach are often incorporated into conceptions and measures of intrinsic motivation. Finally, a framework is presented in which adaptive motivation is described in terms of the coordination of achievement goals and intrinsic motivation.
Article
The relation of task strategy planning to task performance was explored using a series of laboratory investigations. The first study examined the influence of providing a subject a work strategy and a specific work goal on his or her subsequent performance. A total of 72 subjects participated in a 2 (goal) × 2 (task strategy priming) × 3 (performance period) × 3 (task type) repeated measures, factorial design study. The results demonstrate that task strategy priming and goal setting increase the amount of an individual's planning and directs the type of plan developed. A second study was conducted (n = 90) to further explore the effect of task strategy priming on planning and performance. Taken together, the results of the studies demonstrate that (a) goal setting increases strategic planning, (b) priming influences the amount and type of planning engaged in by an individual, and (c) task performance varies as the result of the type of plan an individual develops. The results are discussed as a means of expanding the use of cognitive constructs in theories of work motivation.
Book
Because stress implies a particular kind of commerce between a person (or animal) and environment, it provides an ideal vehicle for addressing the subject matter of this book on internal and external determinants of behavior. We believe this issue is expressed especially well by differentiating between two metatheoretical concepts, transaction and interaction. We have been drawn inexorably toward an emphasis on transaction by the very nature of stress phenomena and the evolving theoretical perspective within which we have worked.
Article
Praise for ability is commonly considered to have beneficial effects on motivation. Contrary to this popular belief, six studies demonstrated that praise for intelligence had more negative consequences for students' achievement motivation than praise for effort. Fifth graders praised for intelligence were found to care more about performance goals relative to learning goals than children praised for effort. After failure, they also displayed less task persistence, less task enjoyment, more low-ability attributions, and worse task performance than children praised for effort. Finally, children praised for intelligence described it as a fixed trait more than children praised for hard work, who believed it to be subject to improvement. These findings have important implications for how achievement is best encouraged, as well as for more theoretical issues, such as the potential cost of performance goals and the socialization of contingent self-worth.
Article
The role of cognition--and to some extent motivation--in emotion, the ways meaning is generated, unconscious appraising, and the implications of this way of thinking for life-span development are addressed. It is argued that appraisal is a necessary as well as sufficient cause of emotion and that knowledge is necessary but not sufficient. This position is examined in light of what is known about emotions in infants and young children, the effects of drugs on acute emotions and moods, and recent patterns of thought about the brain in emotions. The discussion of how meaning is generated is the core of the article. Automatic processing without awareness is contrasted with deliberate and conscious processing, and the concept of resonance between an animal's needs and what is encountered in the environment is examined. The idea that there is more than one way meaning is achieved strengthens and enriches the case for the role of appraisal in emotion and allows the consideration of what is meant by unconscious and preconscious appraisal and the examination of how they might work.
Article
Discusses the nature of stress in the context of problems with its definition and sources of confusion regarding its usefulness and specificity. Stress can be defined as a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, and behavioral changes that are directed toward adaptation either by manipulating the situation to alter the stressor or by accommodating its effects. Chronic stress is more complex than most definitions suggest and is clearly not limited to situations in which stressors persist for long periods of time. Responses may habituate before a stressor disappears or may persist long beyond the physical presence of the stressor. This latter case, in which chronic stress and associated biobehavioral changes outlast their original cause, is considered in light of research at Three Mile Island and among Vietnam veterans. The role of intrusive images of the stressor or uncontrollable thoughts about it in maintaining stress is explored.
Article
108 undergraduates completed a stress questionnaire in class 2 days before the midterm, 5 days after the midterm and 2 days before grades were announced, and 5 days after grades were announced. Results show that for Ss as a whole, there were significant changes in emotions and coping (including the use of social support) across the 3 stages. Some Ss experienced seemingly contradictory emotions and states of mind during every stage of the encounter; Ss experienced both threat emotions and challenge emotions, reflecting ambiguity regarding the multifaceted nature of the examination and its meanings (especially during the anticipatory stage). Ss used combinations of most of the available forms of problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping at every stage. Problem-focused coping was more prominent in the anticipatory stage and distancing more prominent during the waiting stage. An analysis of selected appraisal and coping values, taking GPAs into account, explained about 48% of variance in threat and challenge emotions at the anticipatory stage. Including grade, 57% of the variance in positive emotions at outcome and 61% of negative emotions at outcome were explained. (49 ref)
Article
This study investigated the moderating role of just world beliefs on stress and coping processes. Ss high and low in belief in a just world were asked to perform a potentially stressful laboratory task, which was repeated once. Cognitive appraisals and subjective, autonomic, and behavioral responses were recorded for each of the two tasks. The results supported a stress-moderating effect for just world beliefs. Individuals high in just world beliefs had more benign cognitive appraisals of the stress tasks, rated the tasks as less stressful post hoc, had autonomic reactions consistent with challenge (vs. threat), and outperformed Ss low in just world beliefs. Discussion centers on factors that moderate the experiences of challenge and threat in potentially stressful situations.
Article
Praise for ability is commonly considered to have beneficial effects on motivation. Contrary to this popular belief, six studies demonstrated that praise for intelligence had more negative consequences for students' achievement motivation than praise for effort. Fifth graders praised for intelligence were found to care more about performance goals relative to learning goals than children praised for effort. After failure, they also displayed less task persistence, less task enjoyment, more low-ability attributions, and worse task performance than children praised for effort. Finally, children praised for intelligence described it as a fixed trait more than children praised for hard work, who believed it to be subject to improvement. These findings have important implications for how achievement is best encouraged, as well as for more theoretical issues, such as the potential cost of performance goals and the socialization of contingent self-worth.
Article
A promotion focus is concerned with advancement, growth, and accomplishment, whereas a prevention focus is concerned with security, safety, and responsibility. We hypothesized that the promotion focus inclination is to insure hits and insure against errors of omission, whereas the prevention focus inclination is to insure correct rejections and insure against errors of commission. This hypothesis yielded three predictions: (a) when individuals work on a difficult task or have just experienced failure, those in a promotion focus should perform better, and those in a prevention focus should quit more readily; (b) when individuals work on a task where generating any number of alternatives is correct, those in a promotion focus should generate more distinct alternatives, and those in a prevention focus should be more repetitive; and (c) when individuals work on a signal detection task that requires them to decide whether they did or did not detect a signal, those in a promotion focus should have a "risky" response bias, and those in a prevention focus should have a "conservative" response bias and take more time to respond. These predictions were supported in two framing studies in which regulatory focus was experimentally manipulated independent of valence.
Goal, strategy development and task performance
  • P C Earley
  • T Connolly
  • G Eakergen
Earley, P. C., Connolly, T., & Eakergen, G. (1989). Goal, strategy development and task performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 24–33
Organizational intended and unintended copying Effects of self efficacy and post training interventions on the acquisition and maintenance of complex interpersonal skills
  • J M George
  • A P Brief
  • J A Webster
  • M Drach-Zahavy
George, J. M., Brief, A. P., & Webster, J. (1991). Organizational intended and unintended copying. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 64, 193–205. A. Drach-Zahavy, M. Erez / Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 88 (2002) 667–682 681 rGist, M. E., Stevens, C. K., & Bavetta, A. G. (1991). Effects of self efficacy and post training interventions on the acquisition and maintenance of complex interpersonal skills. Personnel Psychology, 44, 837–861
Manipulation of threat and challenge responses
  • J Tomaka
  • R L Palacois
  • A Lovegrove
Tomaka, J., Palacois, R. L., & Lovegrove, A. (1995). Manipulation of threat and challenge responses. Psychophysiology, 32, S76.
Regulatory focus and strategic inclinations
  • Crowe
Crowe, E., & Higgins, T. (1997). Regulatory focus and strategic inclinations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(2), 117–132.
The ecology of stress
  • S E Hobfoll
Hobfoll, S. E. (1988). The ecology of stress. New York: Hemisphere.
Organizational intended and unintended copying
  • J M George
  • A P Brief
  • J Webster
George, J. M., Brief, A. P., & Webster, J. (1991). Organizational intended and unintended copying. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 64, 193–205.
Stress, coping and sometic adaptation Handbook of stress: theoretical and clinical aspects
  • K A Holroyd
  • R S Lazarus
Holroyd, K. A., & Lazarus, R. S. (1982). Stress, coping and sometic adaptation. In L. Goldberger, & S. Breznitz (Eds.), Handbook of stress: theoretical and clinical aspects. New York: Free press.
  • A Drach-Zahavy
  • M Erez
A. Drach-Zahavy, M. Erez / Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 88 (2002) 667–682
Motivation and cognitive abilities: an integrative approach to skill acquisition
  • Kanfer