The Effect of Transient Mood on Performance Outcomes and Levels of Motivation Variables
Mach, Katina Lynn
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The Problem. This study investigated the effect of transient mood on need for achievement (n Ach), need for approval (n App), need for power (n Pow), and performance outcome measures. It was hypothesized that subjects experiencing negative transient mood states would be associated with lower n Ach, lower n Pow, and higher n App than in a neutral mood state. It was further hypothesized that subjects experiencing a negative mood state would have lower performance levels than subjects in a neutral affective state. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that mood state would be associated with specific life values (as measured by the Life Success Measures Scale). Individuals with high levels of n Ach and n Pow would place more importance upon values related to occupational success dimensions. Procedure. Measures of n Ach, n App, n Pow, Life Success Measures, depression and performance were obtained from 110 college students. In half of the subjects a negative mood induction procedure was implemented to achieve a transient shift in mood. The remaining subjects were given a neutral mood induction procedure which was not expected to influence their mood state. After the mood induction, subjects were given a series of questionnaires assessing motivation levels and life success values and a task which assessed performance. Findings. Transient mood state had a significant affect on motivation variables, Life Success Measures, and performance outcomes. As hypothesized, negative transient mood had a significant effect on motivation and performance. Conclusions. Levels of n Ach and n Pow are significantly effected by an individual's transient mood state. Subjects in the negative mood induction condition had significantly lower levels of n Ach, n Pow, and performance outcomes than those individuals in the neutral mood induction condition. Affective state caused a significant reduction in both motivation and performance. Recommendations. Organizations using performance measures and levels of motivation variables as factors in evaluations and promotions, should be aware of the effect transient mood states may have on these measures. Further research is needed to identify what other factors besides affect, effects motivation and performance.
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