It’s About Time (for the Next Task): Time Available and Next Task Valence Interact to Explain Velocity’s Influence on Affect
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Over the course of a typical day, employees often face a seemingly never-ending sequence of goals. Given the omnipresence and importance of goals in the workplace, a keen understanding of the goal pursuit process is necessary. Along those lines, several studies have shown that during goal pursuit, individuals’ affective experiences are influenced by their velocity—their rate or goal progress over time. Specifically, experiments demonstrate that fast velocities lead to more positive affect and less negative affect compared to slow velocities. However, most of the research on velocity to date has focused on the pursuit of one goal in isolation where attainment is uncertain. In contrast, we know little about why and when velocity influences affect in contexts more representative of the typical workday – where people sequentially complete numerous goals for which attainment is more or less certain. To address this limitation, we proposed and tested a stage 2 moderated mediation model where (1) velocity is positively related to the amount perceived time available for the next task, and (2) perceived time available interacts with the valence of the next task to influence affect. More precisely, we predicted that via perceived time available, velocity would influence affect to a greater extent when the next task is expected to be pleasant than when it is expected to be unpleasant. In an online experiment (N = 145), we tested our propositions and found support regarding positive affect, but not negative affect. Our study contributes to the motivation literature by explaining in part how affect arises as people pursue goals.
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Vincent Phan (2016). It’s About Time (for the Next Task): Time Available and Next Task Valence Interact to Explain Velocity’s Influence on Affect. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11103