Regulatory focus moderates the relationship between task control and physiological and psychological markers of stress : a work simulation study

Parker, Stacey L., Laurie, Kaitlan R., Newton, Cameron J., & Jimmieson, Nerina L. (2014) Regulatory focus moderates the relationship between task control and physiological and psychological markers of stress : a work simulation study. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 94(3), pp. 390-398.

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Abstract

This experiment examined whether trait regulatory focus moderates the effects of task control on stress reactions during a demanding work simulation. Regulatory focus describes two ways in which individuals self-regulate toward desired goals: promotion and prevention. As highly promotion-focused individuals are oriented toward growth and challenge, it was expected that they would show better adaptation to demanding work under high task control. In contrast, as highly prevention-focused individuals are oriented toward safety and responsibility they were expected to show better adaptation under low task control. Participants (N = 110) completed a measure of trait regulatory focus and then three trials of a demanding inbox activity under either low, neutral, or high task control. Heart rate variability (HRV), affective reactions (anxiety & task dissatisfaction), and task performance were measured at each trial. As predicted, highly promotion-focused individuals found high (compared to neutral) task control stress-buffering for performance. Moreover, highly prevention-focused individuals found high (compared to low) task control stress-exacerbating for dissatisfaction. In addition, highly prevention-focused individuals found low task control stress-buffering for dissatisfaction, performance, and HRV. However, these effects of low task control for highly prevention-focused individuals depended on their promotion focus.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 78674
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Regulatory Focus, Task Control, Heart Rate Variability, Occupational Stress, Work Simulation, Task Performance
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.10.009
ISSN: 0167-8760
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Behaviour (150311)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2014 23:51
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 06:58

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