Dispositional affect and job outcomes


Diener, E., Nickerson, C., Lucas, R. E., & Sandvik, E. (2002). Dispositional affect and job outcomes. Social Indicators Research, 59(3), 229-259.


This longitudinal study examines the influence of dispositional affect,defined as self-rated cheerfulness at college entry, on three job outcomes – current income, job satisfaction, and unemployment history – assessedabout 19 years later. Analysis shows that individuals with a highercheerfulness rating at college entry have a higher current income and ahigher job satisfaction rating and are less likely ever to have beenunemployed than individuals with a lower cheerfulness rating. Althoughcheerfulness generally has a positive effect on current income, this effectis curvilinear, with current income increasing more rapidly at lower thanat higher cheerfulness ratings; the effect is also moderated by parentalincome, with the increase in current income between any two cheerfulnessratings becoming greater as the level of parental income increases. Theeffect of cheerfulness on current income is not moderated by sex; the effectof cheerfulness on job satisfaction and on unemployment history is notmoderated by either sex or parental income.

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