Affect and Performance: A Multilevel Analysis of Moderators and Mediators

Elisha Frederiks (2009). Affect and Performance: A Multilevel Analysis of Moderators and Mediators PhD Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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n40281627_PhD_OrgPsyc__abstract.pdf Final Thesis Lodgement - Abstract application/pdf 13.24KB 10
n40281627_PhD_OrgPsyc__totalthesis.pdf Final Thesis Lodgement - Thesis application/pdf 1.21MB 35
Author Elisha Frederiks
Thesis Title Affect and Performance: A Multilevel Analysis of Moderators and Mediators
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-09
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Gillian B Yeo
Associate Professor Andrew Neal
Total pages 221
Total colour pages 5
Total black and white pages 216
Subjects 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract/Summary This thesis examined the intra-individual relationship between state affect and task performance, with an emphasis on a) the moderating effects of trait affect and task difficulty; and b) the mediating effects of cognitive and affective regulation. Theory and empirical research from the emotion, motivation, and personality literatures was integrated to develop a multilevel model of states, traits, and situational factors as predictors of task performance. Data from five studies were analysed using single- and multi-level techniques to test the hypothesised model of relationships. The findings are reported within three manuscripts, which comprise the body of this thesis. Manuscript 1 presents validation evidence for the psychometric instruments used to measure the self-regulatory components of the model. Three studies (N = 758) were conducted to examine the nomological network of cognitive and affective regulation. In parallel, two new self-report scales were developed to operationalise these constructs within a repeated measures paradigm. The three studies demonstrated that the new cognitive and affective regulation scales were uniquely associated with other self-regulatory, personality, affective and achievement variables at the intra-individual and inter-individual levels. Study 1 provided evidence for the unidimensionality, internal consistency, and construct validity of each scale. Study 2 replicated and extended construct validity evidence using a different sample and performance domain. Study 3 established the utility of each scale for assessing intra-individual variability in cognitive and affective regulation, and their ability to predict performance within individuals. In sum, the three studies suggested that the new measures of cognitive and affective regulation were psychometrically adequate for use in model testing. Manuscripts 2 and 3 tested the intra-individual relationship between state affect and task performance, with a focus on the moderating effects of trait affect and task difficulty (Manuscript 2), and the mediating effects of cognitive and affective regulation (Manuscript 3). Each manuscript analysed different portions of data from two laboratory experiments (N = 182). In each experiment, participants performed multiple trials of an air-traffic control simulation that varied in task difficulty at the inter-individual (Study 4) or intra-individual (Study 5) level. Trait positive and negative affect were measured before the task, whereas state positive and negative affect, cognitive and affective regulation, and task performance were measured at repeated intervals over practice. In Manuscript 2, hierarchical linear modelling demonstrated that state positive affect was positively related, whereas state negative affect was negatively related, to task performance at the intra-individual level of analysis. As hypothesised, the strength of these affect-performance relationships was significantly moderated by trait affect and task difficulty. In both studies, the positive intra-individual relationship between state positive affect and performance was stronger for individuals with high (versus low) trait positive affect, particularly when task difficulty was high (versus low). In contrast, the negative intra-individual relationship between state negative affect and performance only emerged for individuals with low (versus high) trait negative affect, regardless of the level of task difficulty. In Study 4, the intra-individual relationship between state negative affect and task performance was also more pronounced when task difficulty was high (versus low). In Manuscript 3, multilevel multiple-mediation modelling demonstrated that cognitive regulation significantly mediated the intra-individual relationship between state positive affect and performance in both studies, alongside the intra-individual relationship between state negative affect and performance in Study 4. Unexpectedly, affective regulation failed to mediate either of these affect-performance relationships. However, state positive affect was positively related to affective regulation in both studies, whereas state negative affect was positively related to affective regulation in Study 5. Overall, this thesis makes theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions to understanding how affect relates to performance at the intra-individual level of analysis; and for whom, when, and why these relationships emerge. Within a multilevel framework, it integrates interdisciplinary perspectives to identify the affective determinants of performance from two levels of analysis. The results demonstrate that state positive and negative affect can differentially predict intra-individual variability in task performance, and that these effects may a) depend on trait affect and task difficulty; and b) be partially explained by cognitive regulation. These findings emphasise the importance of adopting a multilevel, repeated measures paradigm to examine how affective states, traits, and task demands interactively predict task performance. There is scope for extending this research further by investigating a broader range of moderating and mediating constructs. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Keyword affect, task performance, self-regulation, cognitive regulation, affective regulation, task difficulty, multilevel analysis
Additional Notes Colour Pages = 23-24, 211-213 Landscape Pages = 19-21, 38-39, 49-50, 62, 108, 145-146, 156, 185-187

 
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Created: Tue, 06 Oct 2009, 20:44:20 EST by Miss Elisha Frederiks on behalf of Library - Information Access Service