Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (xx, 240 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Kevin J Williams

Committee Members

Michael T Ford, Ronald S Friedman


Motivation (Psychology), Action theory, Affect (Psychology), Success, Goal (Philosophy)

Subject Categories

Organizational Behavior and Theory | Psychology


Given that employee performance goals are major determinants of work motivation and performance, examining the factors that influence goal setting has generated substantial research interest. However, despite decades of work, the relationship between affect and goal setting is not well understood as evidenced by inconsistent findings in this domain. Based on contemporary theory, affect is described along the two dimensions of valence (i.e., the level of pleasantness) and arousal (i.e., the level of activation). Most of the focus has been on the valence dimension of affect, where mood-as-information theory as well as affect-priming theory predict that affective valence influences judgments in a direction that is consistent with the level of valence. Less focus has been given to the effect of the arousal dimension. Arousal-as-information theory suggests that affective arousal increases the value of the information that is conveyed by affective valence and thereby higher arousal can make a positive judgment even more positive or a negative judgment even more negative. The main goal of this study was to examine the extent to which affective valence and arousal influence goal-setting processes and, in particular, the extent to which level of activation moderates the effects of affective valence on goal-setting processes.