THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF MOOD, PERCEIVED SELF-COMPETENCE,
AND JOB SATISFACTION
Suzette Settle Tucker
B.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1983
A thesis submitted to the
Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
for the degree of
Master of Arts
Department of Psychology
This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Suzette Settle Tucker
has been approved for the
Tucker, Suzette Settle
The Interrelationship of Mood, Perceived Self-Competence, and Job
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Kurt Kraiger
A longitudinal self-report survey was conducted to determine the
nature and relationships of mood, perceived self-competence and job
satisfaction. Correlational analyses revealed strong, positive
relationships between the variables and multiple regression analysis
indicated that daily mood predicts both daily self-competence and
daily job satisfaction. Additionally, mood appears to be a
multidimensional construct, with daily mood and chronic global mood
uncorrelated. Finally, daily mood was a better predictor of self-
competence and job satisfaction than chronic, global mood.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT................................................ vi i
I. INTRODUCTION................................................ 1
Job Satisfaction......................................... 1
II. RESEARCH DESIGN............................................ 23
III. METHOD..................................................... 28
Daily Measures.......................................... 30
IV. ANALYSES................................................... 33
Aggregated Analyses..................................... 33
Disaggregated Analyses.................................. 33
Multivariate Analysis................................... 34
V. RESULTS.................................................... 38
Aggregated Results...................................... 38
Disaggregated Results................................... 38
Multivariate Results.................................... 43
VI. DISCUSSION................................................. 47
VII. BIBLIOGRAPHY............................................... 51
1. Zero-order Correlations and Means........................ 37
2. Partial Correlations (Aggregated Data).................... 39
3. Partial Correlations (Disaggregated Data)................. 41
4. Range of Correlations for Subjects....................... 44
5. Multiple Regression
Dependent variable = daily self-competence............... 45
6. Multiple Regression
Dependent variable = daily job satisfaction.............. 46
IA. Direct Relationship........................................ 21
IB. Indirect Relationship...................................... 21
II. Aggregated Data............................................ 40
III. Disaggregated Data......................................... 42
I would like to thank Dr. Kurt Kraiger for his guidance, and
encouragement during this project and throughout my graduate work.
Also, I would like to thank Dr. Carolyn Simmons, who has been my
role model and mentor, and Dr. Joy Berrenberg, who made many useful
suggestions, as well as served on my thesis committee. Without
their support, as well as that of many other faculty and students, I
would have been unable to come this far.
The goal of this paper is to attempt to bring together three
previously unlinked areas in psychology: job satisfaction,
perceived self-competence, and mood. Although a few attempts have
been made to link job satisfaction with one or the other of these
variables, all three have not been simultaneously studied.
The following sections will introduce each variable and give
a general overview of how each has traditionally been studied in
psychology. Following this, an explanation of the chosen method-
ology and the analytical approaches will be discussed, the suggested
hypotheses will be stated, and alternative models discussed.
Locke (1976) defines job satisfaction as "a pleasurable or
positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job
or job experiences." Job satisfaction has also been defined as an
evaluation of one's job, based on beliefs about one's current state
in the job (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Further, it is considered to
be more present and past-oriented than future-oriented. It must be
noted that job satisfaction has been defined as both an attitude and
a subjective feeling state.
Although this may seem contradictory, current theory not
only links cognition (attitude) and motivation or feeling (mood),
but Fazio (1986) states that although "attitude consists of three
interrelated components: an affective component involving feelings
about and evaluation of the attitude object, a cognitive component
involving beliefs about the object, and a behavioral intentions
component (Ostrom, 1969)", he adopts a far simpler definition of
attitude: "one that views an attitude as essentially affect"
(Fazio, 1986, pg. 204). Job satisfaction has traditionally been
assumed to be determined largely by situational factors such as
working conditions, task characteristics and supervisor characteris-
tics (Locke, 1976). However, Locke (1969) has noted that there is
considerable confusion as to whether the determinants of job
satisfaction are related solely to the job, the workers' percep-
tions, or an interaction of the two.
Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Model (1976)
asserts that jobs are characterized by a small number of attributes,
that the degree to which any job possesses these qualities deter-
mines interest and/or motivation in the job, and that the higher the
motivating potential of the job, the higher job satisfaction will
be. Salancik and Pfeffer (1977, 1978), however, considered social
information and its role in influencing perceptions of job charac-
teristics and job satisfaction. They and others found that social
context and socially-provided information had as much influence on
task perceptions and job satisfaction as did objective elements of
As important as task design and social context are to job
satisfaction, there may be other factors that either directly or
indirectly influence job satisfaction. Some researchers have become
dissatisfied with organizational models of job satisfaction, which
focus on external and situational influences, and have begun to
examine dispositional theories of job satisfaction.
In fact, this is not an entirely new concept. Abraham
Korman presented his balance theory of job satisfaction in 1968,
stating that the self-concept of an individual in relation to the
job is a determinant of job satisfaction. Derived from Heider's
(1958) balance theory, it involved the motivational factors of
self-evaluation and self-perception within the cognitive structure.
Basically, Korman hypothesized that "individuals will engage in and
find satisfying those behavioral roles which will maximize their
sense of cognitive balance or consistency" (1968, pg. 32). Further-
more, to the extent an individual has a self- cognition of compe-
tency, he or she will find most satisfying those situations which
are in balance with this perception. Korman cites several studies
in which both chronic and manipulated positive self-esteem were
related to choosing jobs which were seen as satisfying one's
self-perceived needs and also to liking situations as a function of
success on a task (Korman, 1966, 1967).
More recently, Staw and Ross (1985) examined dispositional
variables influencing job satisfaction. Dispositional variables are
defined by Staw and Ross as both stable individual characteristics
and the more transitory dispositions such as mood. They
hypothesized, and found evidence to support the hypothesis, that
there are stable characteristics that predispose people to like or
dislike their jobs. Using longitudinal data on job satisfaction
from a national sample of over 5,000 middle-aged men, they were able
to show significant stability of attitudes over a 5-year time period
and significant cross-situational consistency when individuals
changed jobs. Additionally, prior attitudes were a stronger
predictor of job satisfaction than either pay changes or job status.
Along the same lines, Schmitt and Pulakos (1982) studied the
consistency of satisfaction states across changes in jobs or
organizations. Using a longitudinal design, they were able to
successfully predict job satisfaction in a new job from pre-
employment life satisfaction measures. They concluded that their
results may have been due to a general satisfaction component that
underlies both job and life satisfaction.
While a stable, underlying general satisfaction dimension
may be a component of job satisfaction, other factors may also
contribute to job satisfaction. For example, success on a job task
has also been found to be an important determinant of job satisfac-
tion (Locke, 1965). This success or achievement is involved in
one's sense of efficacy or competence (White, 1959). Thus, one's
perception of self-competency most likely has an influence on job
satisfaction, and vice-versa.
For example, Therenou and Harker (1982), using longitudinal
data, examined global self-esteem and sense of competence as
possible moderating variables in the job performance-job
satisfaction relationship, and found that although neither were
moderating variables in the relationship, self-competence was the
variable most highly associated with job satisfaction. Furthermore,
they concluded that personal characteristics should perhaps be
considered as predictor variables rather than moderator variables.
The need to understand what factors contribute to job
satisfaction is an important issue in the workplace. If objective
task design and social/situational factors influence job satisfac-
tion, the task of raising levels of job satisfaction, which has been
shown to directly influence employee absenteeism and tardiness
(Vroom, 1964; Taylor & Weiss, 1972), is clear. However, if there
are other, internal factors that influence job satisfaction, either
directly or indirectly, then there is a need to understand these
factors and to investigate the process by which these factors work
to influence satisfaction.
The self can be defined as both a cognitive structure and a
process .(Markus, 1980), and the evaluative aspect of the self-
system is self-esteem (Raynor & McFarlin, 1986). Nicholls, Licht,
and Pearl (1982) conceptualized high self-esteem as most often
meaning high perceived competence and low self-esteem as meaning low
perceived competence. High self-esteem people are often thought of
as highly self-confident people who expect success, while low
self-esteem people are often thought of as those who lack confidence
and expect failure (Ellis & Taylor, 1983). James (1890) defined
self-esteem as the ratio of one's pretensions to one's successes.
Pretensions are perceptions based on qualities or abilities. Thus,
when self-esteem, a more global contruct, is thought of as a sense
of personal competence or efficacy, it is referred to as self-
Several theories have been formulated around the idea of
aspiration (White, 1959; Diggory, 1966). As stated earlier, a
person's attitude towards self involves three aspects: cognitive,
affective, and behavioral (Secord & Backman, 1964). The affective,
or evaluative aspect involves the process of self-esteem, and the
experience of success or failure is a critical feature (Wells, 1976)
of the evaluation of self. In Diggory's terms, "man then might be
viewed as a purposive instrument and might evaluate himself in quite
the same terms as he evaluates any other instrument" (1966,
pg. 418). When the evaluation involves personal skills and abili-
ties competence is indicated.
In Mischel's (1979) cognitive social learning model of
personality, competence is considered to be a "person variable".
These variables are defined as those that look at what a person
constructs in a particular condition. Differing conditions evoke,
maintain or modify the person variables. A self-competence person
variable is theorized to be a psychological product within an
individual's cognitive development and social learning experiences.
The process of acquiring "cognitive construction competen-
cies", according to Mischel, involves selectively constructing
perceptions of "reality". Potential behavior is assessed and a
cognitive rendition of level of competence based on past experience
as well as performance expectations is constructed. People set
performance goals for themselves, evaluate the outcome, and give a
label to it. This cognitive labeling is part of the construction
process Mischel (1979) refers to. A positive competence experience
leads to a more positive assessment of self, and a positive evalu-
ation of self, while failure leads to negative perceptions. When
job performance is involved, perceived positive or negative self-
competence is one outcome. Furthermore, these "cognitive competen-
cies" tend to be good predictors of social adjustment (Anderson,
A stimulus can include the self, an internal state, an event
or an action, or a verbal message or thought. Some stimuli have
high emotion-arousing powers; one of these is the cognitive label a
person assigns to his or her own emotional arousal state (Schacter &
Singer, 1962). Experimentally induced success or failure can make
one feel happy or sad, and the concurrent causal attributions can
lead to specific feelings such as pride or shame (Weiner & Graham,
1984). Furthermore, when one's attention is focused on oneself,
affect.is evoked (Schier & Carver, 1977). If the stimulus is a
self-imposed standard, a positive competency experience leads to a
more positive assessment of self, a positive labeling of self, and
the accompanying affect.
Thus, the perception of self-competence can be conceptu-
alized as both an affective response to the meaning of a stimulus
beyond its physical and sensory aspects, as well as a cognition
about self; that is, an affective and cognitive response to the
causes, consequences and implications for the self.
Since job satisfaction can be thought of as an attitude
encompassing cognitive evaluation as well as affect, and self-
competence can also be defined as an attitude toward self involving
cognitive evaluation of self and the accompanying affect, it follows
that affect may not only be a component of these variables, but may
also influence them, and vice versa. It becomes difficult to
discuss perceived self-competence and job satisfaction without
addressing affect (mood) simultaneously. Therefore, the next
section examines mood and how it relates to both self-competence and
Until recently, affect was seldom considered when studying
cognition. When it was, it was viewed as a product of cognition
(Lazarus, 1982), though Zajonc (1980) argued that affect precedes
cognition. Now, some researchers are viewing affect and cognition
as inextricably intertwined (Hoffman, 1986). In any case, cognition
is less and less likely to be studied without consideration of
Mood can be thought of as a temporary affect state, less
intense than emotion, most likely of shorter duration, and perhaps
without a clear referent. For example, an emotion, such as anger,
is usually directed at a specific object, for considerable duration,
and with high intensity. Irritation, on the other hand, is a
temporary mood state, often not directed at any particular object,
and of lower intensity.
Early research focused on the influence of mood on behavior.
Isen (1970) found that positive mood states increased sociability.
There is considerable evidence of a relationship between positive
mood and increased helping behavior (Isen & Levin, 1972; Isen,
Shalker, & Karp, 1976). For instance, it has been shown that
finding a dime in the coin return of a public telephone, or receiv-
ing a free sample from a manufacturer (valued at $0.29) leads to
increased helping and sociability (Isen & Levin, 1972). Once this
relationship between mood and behavior was established, researchers
began to look at the relationship between mood and cognition.
Mood can influence cognitive processing in several ways. It
can initiate it, terminate it, accelerate it or disrupt it. It can
determine which processing modes operate and which stimuli are
attended to. It can influence the organization and recall of
events, the accessibility of categories, and it can contribute to
the formation of emotionally charged categories. Finally, it can
provide input for social cognition and influence decision-making
Memory and recall have been found to be influenced by mood.
Positive mood serves as a retrieval cue for positive material in
memory (Isen, Shalker, Clark, & Karp, 1976). Subjects in whom
positive mood was induced recalled significantly more positive than
negative words when given a free recall task. In addition, positive
mood increased the speed at which positive memories were recalled as
compared to negative memories (Teasdale & Fogarty, 1979), and
increased the recall of positive facts from previously learned
material (Laird, Wagener, Balal, & Szegda, 1982).
It seems that when memory errors are committed, the mistakes
are consistent with subjects' mood during recall. For example,
Laird et. al. (1982) induced angry mood in subjects and then gave
them newspaper editorials to read. Subjects recalled the editorials
erroneously, and in a mood-congruent manner. One subject, after
reading an editorial concerning baby seal killing, recalled that
300,000 baby seals had been killed, when, in fact, 60,000 were
killed. There is also evidence that mood may contribute to the
organization of memory. Rogers, Kuiper and Kirker (1977) found that
memory for a trait word such as 'shy' is enhanced if one thinks
about whether the word describes oneself, and this effect is greater
than when the word is thought about in terms of some other category
or in some other way.
Additionally, mood also influences attention to information,
as well as decision-making and problem-solving. Problem-solving by
subjects in a good mood tends to be simplified and efficient (Isen &
Means, 1983). Negative mood tends to restrict the range of
attention (Easterbrook, 1959) as well as interfere with performance
on cognitive tasks (Raps, Peterson, Reinhard, Abramson, & Seligman,
1982). Similarly, when positive mood-induced subjects are given a
complex task choice, they make decisions more quickly than control
subjects, and their decision-making strategy is more efficient
(Isen, Means, Patrick, & Nowicki, 1982).
Bower (1981) reviewed evidence that free associations,
fantasies and snap judgments were influenced by mood. Happy
subjects gave happy character descriptions of familiar people in
their lives, while unhappy subjects gave unhappy descriptions.
Additionally, when shown pictures from the Thematic Apperception
Test (TAT),;they told stories with overtones of their own happy or
Mood also influences evaluations made about obj ects, events,
and situations. Isen and Shalker (1982) induced positive mood in
subjects and then asked them to rate the attractiveness of slides
they had previously viewed. Their ratings of attractiveness
significantly increased. Similarly, automobile performance ratings
increased positively when subjects were in a positive mood (Isen et.
al., 1978)., Veitch & Griffitt (1976) played news broadcasts convey-
ing either good or bad news to subjects and asked them to make
evaluative judgments of others. The judgments were positive when
they had heard good news, and negative when bad news had been
Finally, there is evidence that mood influences self-
evaluation. ; For example, Mischel, Ebbesen, & Zeiss (1973) found
that subjects given a positive experience also gave increased
attention to positive personality information about themselves.
When Schwarz and Clore (1983) interviewed subjects on sunny or rainy
days, those interviewed on sunny days reported happy and satisfied
lives, while subjects interviewed on rainy days were less happy and
less satisfied. Along the same lines, Johnson and Tversky (1983)
found that, when asked to make evaluations of the possibility of
personal catastrophe, subjects in a good mood made lower predictions
than did control subjects.
In order to explain some of these findings, Wright and
Mischel (1982) devised their mood-congruent theory, which states
that affect alters the salience of information, making mood-
congruent material more accessible to recall and more easily
learned. In their study, subjects in a positive feeling state
formed higher expectancies for future performance, recalled more
positive outcomes, and made more favorable global self-descriptions,
while negative affect subjects had lower expectations about future
performance, recalled fewer positive outcomes, and made less
favorable general self-assessments.
Furthermore, when the subjects' mood and the situation,
(success or failure conditions) were incongruent, subjects' moods
significantly biased the processing of performance feedback. In the
success condition, negative mood subjects set lower expectations
than past outcome would have indicated, while positive mood subjects
in a failure condition set expectations well above past outcome.
Mood influenced expectations more than did actual outcome.
According to Wright and Mischel, feeling states may exert
their potent effects because their cognitive consequences persist
even after the mood diminishes or changes. Subjects may lose the
mood, but by then have formed inaccurate assessments of their
competence, leading to future performance based on current mood as
well as on the past associative "tag".
This evidence, along with the evidence that indicates that
recall and evaluation of past performance are influenced by mood
(Isen et. al., 1976), and that self-evaluation is also influenced by
mood (Schwarz & Clore, 1983) suggests a direct effect of mood on
perceived self-competence. Most of us have experienced being in a
bad mood and feeling that we can't do anything right, even though we
"know" that we have been able to do things right in the past.
Furthermore, job satisfaction has previously been defined as
an evaluation of one's job, so there is reason to suppose that
mood might directly influence job satisfaction. Kraiger (1985)
found a positive relationship between affect and ratings of job
satisfaction, and Kraiger, Billings and Isen (1986) found
experimental evidence that positive mood causes greater task
As for the relationship between job satisfaction and
self-competence, the connection has been made previously in the
literature, as mentioned above. Therenou and Harker found a
zero-order correlation of .52 between job satisfaction, measured by
the Job Diagnostic Index (JDI), and the Wagner and Morse self-
competence measure used in this study. However, the nature of the
relationship between these three variables when studied simultane-
ously is unclear, and has not been addressed in the literature. A
direct influence of mood on each of the other variables may be the
form of the relationship (see Figure IA), or perhaps mood relates to
job satisfaction through the mediating effects of self-competence
(see Figure IB).
PERCEIVED SELF COMPETENCE JOB SATISFACTION
FIGURE IA Direct Relationship
FIGURE IB Indirect Relationship
If job satisfaction and self-competence are highly developed
cognitive categories, it might be that mood is more likely to
directly influence the category most salient to self, that is,
self-competence, and that self-competence, congruent with mood, then
influences job satisfaction. This model would be compatible with
many information-processing models, which state that the self as a
cognitive schema is the filtering lens through which all information
passes. In this case, mood would pass through the "lens" of
self-competence, and influence job satisfaction indirectly.
Therefore, one purpose of the study is to explore the nature
of these variables and their interrelationships, as well as to
determine which alternative more clearly explains the interrelation-
ships between these three variables.
Another purpose of this study is to make a methodological
contribution to the study of mood, job satisfaction, and self-
competence. This goal will be explained in the next section of this
There has been an increased awareness of the need to study
the relationship between cognition and affect (Clark & Fiske, 1982).
Keisler (1982) suggests that this relationship will be a core
theoretical issue for the 1980s. Research strategy is a basic part
of this issue. Traditional, experimental research is problematic in
the study of mood. Inducing mood, the most often used strategy,
leaves much to be desired. The duration of the induced mood is
somewhat unclear, but relatively short. Further, the intensity may
not mirror real mood states, bringing the generalizability of the
study into question. Finally, it is also questionable whether
subjects in the neutral mood condition are really in a neutral mood,
or carry a mood into the laboratory with them (Kraiger, 1985).
In fact, participation in a laboratory study may alter mood.
The typical lab experiment is often a strong situation (Weiss &
Adler, 1984). Mischel (1977) states that strong situations induce
everyone to construe them in some way and create uniform
expectancies regarding appropriate responses. Additionally, the
typical lab experiment is a situation where personality effects are
minimized (Weiss & Adler, 1984). Therefore, it is questionable as
to whether a laboratory experiment is the best way to study
personality variables such as mood.
In contrast, self-report studies, while containing problems
of their own, do offer some valuable aspects when studying person-
ality variables. Bandura (1978) and Mischel (1982) support some
forms of self-report data, and Averill (1983) suggests that self-
report data criticisms apply to other forms of data as well,
including overt behavior and physiological responses. Rorer and
Widiger (1983) suggest that the best way to get information from
someone is to ask. Nevertheless, self-report studies are a
controversial topic. Clearly, there are disadvantages:
self-deception is always a possibility (Sackheim & Gur, 1979), and
self-awareness of internal states is questionable (Wilson, Hull, &
There are other complications in the study of personality
variables. Empirical research generally assumes a clear distinction
between independent and dependent variables, a distinction that may
not describe the actual relationship of personality variables.
Longitudinal studies move away from a main effects approach, and
toward interactionism, which is currently one of the favored
approaches to cognition and affect. Additionally, Weiss & Adler
(1984) suggest that there needs to be more longitudinal research,
since personality is affected only over time.
In the case of mood, not much is known about the stability
or instability of the construct. In personality research, aggrega-
tion has become a focal point as an approach to both data gathering
and analysis, and is advocated by many personality researchers
(Epstein, 1979; Rushton, Jackson, & Paunonen, 1981). Verbrugge
(1980) believes that it may also be more valid because it minimizes
errors of recall. According to Epstein (1979), data collected over
time gives a better picture of how stable or unstable personality
variables are. By aggregating data collected over several points in
time, the stability coefficient is increased, because the measure-
ment error associated with day-to-day situational variability tends .
to be reduced.
Finally, not much work has been done on these variables to
determine whether they are unidimensional or multidimensional.
Generally, mood is considered to be a temporary feeling 'state'.
However, perhaps both a mood 'state', which is relatively short-,
term, and a more chronic mood 'trait' exist. Both job satisfaction
and perceived self-competence, on the other hand, are generally
theorized to be more global, general constructs, and yet, because
they do contain an affective component, it might be possible that
they have a more 'state-like' dimension to them.
This study, then, was a longitudinal study, employing
multiple self-report measures that were intended to measure both the
chronic and more temporary states of each variable, in the hopes of
increasing understanding of the nature of the variables as well as
their interrelationships. Both aggregated and disaggregated
analyses were conducted in order to measure stability of the
variables, and to study the temporal relationship between variables.
Aggregated analysis tends to reduce error associated with day-to-day
situational variability, yielding more stable measures that repre-
sent the "average" state or behavior of individuals.
Additionally, the average daily state is of interest in this
study. If there are more temporary feeling states, these daily
measures should be correlated with one another on any given day, but
with great variability across subjects. Thus, the disaggregated
analysis is a way to measure the average daily correlations between
these variables, in the interest of determining variation in daily
Finally, if the temporary state measures correlate highly
with the chronic or global measures, it would provide evidence that
these are unidimensional variables, whereas if the correlations are
low or insignificant, a multidimensional aspect could be theorized.
Thus, the following hypotheses are offered:
1. Mood and job satisfaction, and mood and self-
competence are positively correlated. Additionally,
job satisfaction and self-competence are positively
2. Mood directly influences self-competence and is a
moderating variable in the job satisfaction and
3. Mood, job satisfaction, and self-competence are
multidimensional in nature; that is, the (global/
general measures are not related to daily measures).
4. There is a temporal relationship between the daily
measures of these variables.
Sixty-seven subjects (20 male, 46 female and one unstated
sex) enrolled in two psychology classes and one business class at
the University of Colorado at Denver, a large urban university,
participated for extra credit in their courses. They ranged in age
from 19 to 44 years, with a mean age of 26.4 and a mode of 21 years.
Sixteen subjects were married, 50 were single, and the marital
status of one was unstated. Twenty-three percent reported working
in clerical or manual jobs, 21% in mid-management, 23% in
upper-management or professional, 6% in sales, and 27% in other job
categories. Seventy-four percent reported working full-time, and
26% reported part-time employment. The mean number of hours
reported worked each week was 40. It should be noted that this
sample was probably much more representative of the general popu-
lation than are the college freshmen subjects normally used in
Over a 12-day period, subjects completed a daily measure of
mood, self-competence and job satisfaction, as well as responded
every other day to structured, multi-item questionnaires measuring
these three variables.
The single item daily measures involved writing a short
one-paragraph journal entry and then rating the mood or perception
they had written about on a Likert-type rating scale. The journal
entry was employed in order to increase salience of the mood or
perception being rated. Subjects were requested to fill out the
daily form at approximately the same time each day for the 12-day
period, yielding 12 data points for each subject on the daily
measures. The daily measures were intended to assess temporary
affective and cognitive states.
In addition, subjects filled out structured measures for
mood, self-competence, and job satisfaction every other day, for a
total of 6 days. This produced 6 data points for each subject for
each structured questionnaire. These structured questionnaires were
randomly ordered for each day to protect against possible order-
effects. These multi-item measures were intended to measure
chronic, global affective and cognitive states.
When the survey packets were handed out in class, subjects
were requested not to look back at their previous days' responses.
They were also told that not all people would experience the same
kinds of feelings each day, and that there were no right or wrong
responses to any of the questionnaires. Those subjects who did not
have jobs were asked to rate their time spent at school and in class
as if it were a job. The completed packets were returned to their
instructor at the end of the 12-day period.
The daily self-report measure consisted of 3 items. Item
one asked subjects to "describe, in your own words, your general
mood just for today", and then to "rate your general mood just for
today" on a scale ranging from 1 (very bad mood) to 7 (very good
mood). Item 2 asked subjects to "describe how satisfied you felt
with your job today, on the whole", and then to "rate your job
satisfaction just for today" on a scale ranging from 1 (very
dissatisfied) to 7 (very satisfied). Item 3 asked subjects to
"describe how self-competent you felt today and why", and then to
"rate your self-competence for today" on a scale ranging from 1
(very incompetent) to 7 (very competent).
The job satisfaction measure was the Minnesota Satisfaction
Questionnaire (MSQ; Weiss, Davis, & Loquist, 1967). It is a 20-item
questionnaire based on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1
(very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). The instructions were:
1Actually, 10 questionnaires were included in the survey,
although only data from these three questionnaires were analyzed for
"For each of the following items, ask yourself, "How satisfied am I
with this aspect of my job?". Then, on a scale of 1 to 5, rate how
satisfied or dissatisfied you are with each aspect listed."
Sample items included:
On my present job, this is how I feel about:
2) the chance to work alone on the job
8) the way my job provides for steady employment
13) my pay and the amount of work I do.
The MSQ measures satisfaction with 20 aspects of the job,
and the total score is interpretable as a measure of global job
satisfaction. It is scored in the direction of job satisfaction.
Internal consistency estimates have been reported as .90
(n=l,723; Weiss, Davis, England, & Lofquist, 1967), .74 and .92
(Cook, Hepworth, Wall & Warr, 1981) for a variety of occupations.
Additionally, .63 and .59, Cook et al reported test-retest correla-
tions of .63 and .59 for two samples. Validity evidence is avail-
able as well. Convergent validity is evident in correlations of .71
with the Job Diagnostic Index (JDI), a measure of job satisfaction,
and .24 with ratings of morale (Cook et al).
The self-competence measure was the Sense of Competence
Scale (SCS; Wagner & Morse, 1975). This self-report measure, based
on White's (1959) theory of competence, consists of 23 items rated
on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (totally disagree) to
5 (totally agree). It is scored in the direction of self-
competence, and is intended to measure several factors of perceived
self-competence: competence thema, knowledge/problem-solving,
influence, and confidence. The total score can be interpreted as a
global measure of self-competence. Examples of items include:
1. No one knows my job better than I do.
4. I meet my own personal expectations for expertise in
doing my job.
12. My job offers me a chance to test myself and my
Item-total correlations exceeded .35 (p = < .001) for each
of the items. It correlated at only .22 (p = < .001) with the
Marlowe- Crowne social desirability scale. Ruder-Richardson
reliability coefficient was .96. Test-retest reliability over a
2-month period was .84.
The Chronic Mood measure (CM; Kraiger, 1985) first requires
subjects to write down the names of 10 people they know fairly well.
Subjects then read a short paragraph describing a person who is
always in a positive mood. Subjects compare their own chronic mood
state to each person and indicate whether they are more or less
often in a positive mood. A count of the 'more's' yields a self-
rating, ranging from 1 to 10, of subjects' perceptions of their own
chronic positive mood. Kraiger (1985) reported this measure as easy
for subjects to complete. The scores from this measure correlate at
.50 and above with direct self and peer ratings of chronic mood
states measured using a Likert-type scale item (Kraiger, 1983), and
can be interpreted as a measure of global, chronic mood.
In the initial analysis, the ratings from both the daily
self-report measures for mood, self-competence and job satisfaction
were averaged across either the 12-day or 6-day period for each
subject. These average scores were then correlated across subjects.
These zero-order correlations measure whether or not there is a
relationship between two variables as well as the magnitude of the
Next, partial correlations were computed between all
possible pairs for the daily measures and for the global measures,
controlling for the third variable, once again using the average
scores for each subject. These partial correlations measure whether
or not there is a relationship between two variables when a.third
variable is controlled for, and when analyzed for direction, give
some indication of the existence of a moderating variable within a
For the disaggregated analysis, the daily scores from the
daily mood, self-competence and job satisfaction measures were
correlated for each subject using the 12 days as 12 data points for
each daily measure. Then, partial correlations were computed for
each subject between all possible pairs. The individual correla-
tions and partial correlations (n=67) were transformed to Fisher z'
values, averaged across subjects, and then transformed back to the
original scale. This analysis yields average correlations and
average partial correlations for all pairs, and provides information
about the interrelationships between these variables at the daily
level. Rehm (1978) and Stone (1981) used this approach in the
analysis of time-series data of the kind reported here.
Additionally, multiple regression analysis was performed
using the daily scores for the daily measures, and the averaged
scores for the global measures, in order to investigate whether or
not daily mood makes a strong contribution to the prediction of both
daily perceived self-competence and daily perceived job satisfac-
tion. Four days were selected at random to be analyzed. This was
done to preserve the temporal relationship between the daily
variables, as well as determine the consistency of the relationships
from day to day. The order of entry of the variables for each of
the four regressions, for both self-competence and job satisfaction
as the dependent variable, was as follows:
With daily self-competence as the dependent variable:
Step 1 global self-competence (SC)
Step 2 global or chronic mood (CM)
Step 3 global job satisfaction (MSQ)
Step 4 daily self-competence (lagged)
Step 5 daily mood
With daily job satisfaction as the dependent variable:
Step 1 global job satisfaction (MS.Q)
Step 2 global or chronic mood (CM)
Step 3 global self-competence (SC)
Step 4 daily job satisfaction (lagged)
Step 5 daily mood
The lagged variable was the dependent variable from the
previous day, and was entered into the equation to test whether
one's previous daily job satisfaction or self-competence (lingering
state information) might affect that day's perception. In both
equations daily mood was entered last to test whether or not it
accounted for significant variance in the dependent variables after
having already accounted for both normal and more recent perceptions
of self-competence or job satisfaction. This approach is similar to
one used by Eckenrode (1984), and preserves the temporal relation-
ship between daily measures.
This section reports analyses made with the average scores
that represent mood, job satisfaction, and self-competence. Table 1
contains the means, standard deviations, and intercorrelations of
all variables used in the zero-order correlation analysis. Daily
mood and daily self-competence are highly correlated (r=.90, ,
Â£=<.00). Daily mood and daily job satisfaction are also highly
correlated (r=.73, Â£=<.001), as are daily self-competence and daily
job satisfaction (r=.77, Â£=<.001). Additionally, daily mood and
global self-competence are related (r=.29, Â£=<.01), and daily job
satisfaction and global self-competence are related (r=.53,
Â£=<.001). Also, global self-competence and global job satisfaction
are highly related (r=.74, Â£=.00), while global self-competence and
chronic mood are moderately related (r=.2316, Â£=.037). Global job
satisfaction and chronic mood are also moderately related (r=.21,
p=<.052). Daily job satisfaction and global job satisfaction are
related (r=.33, Â£= <.005), daily self- competence and global
self-competence are related (r=.40, Â£=<.001), but daily mood and
chronic mood are unrelated. The multiple R for the daily measures
Journal Entry Entry
Entry Daily Daily Global Global
Daily Self- Job Self Job Chronic
Mood Conraetence Satisfaction ComDetence Satisfaction Mood
Entry 1.00 0.90 0.73 0.29 0.1265 -0.06 '
Daily ( 60) ( 57) . ( 57) ( 56) ( 57) ( 58)
Mood * pC.OOO pC.OOO pC.OOO pC.014 pC.194 pc. 324.
Entry 1.00 0.77 0.40 0.20 -0.09
Daily ( 59) ( 58) ( 56) ( 58) ( 54)
Self- p<.000 pC.OOO pC.001 pc.065 pC.265
Entry 1.00 0.53 0.33 0.04
Daily ( 59) ( 57) ( 59) ( 55)
Job pC.OOO pC.OOO pC.005 pC.394
Global 1.00 0.74 0.23
Self- ( 63) ( 62) ( 60)
competence - pC.OOO pc.ooo pc.037
Global 1.00 0.21
Job ( 64) ( 60)
Satisfaction pC.000 pC.052
Mood ( 61)
X .35 3.6 3.5 70.35 78.53 6.07
SD .69 .88 .65 11.4 10.4 1.3 *
The partial correlations give a clearer picture of the
interrelationships (see Table 2). Daily mood and daily self-
competence are highly correlated even when job satisfaction is
controlled for (pr=.78, Â£=<.00), while daily mood and daily job
satisfaction, when daily self-competence is controlled for, is no
longer related (see Figure II). Additionally, when chronic mood is
controlled for, the relationship between global self-competence and
global job satisfaction remains strong (pr=.73. Â£=<.001), possibly
indicating that chronic mood doesn't have a great effect upon this
relationship, while daily mood seems to moderate the relationship
between daily job satisfaction and daily self-competence (pr=.39.
Table 3 indicates the average correlations and partial
correlations computed from transformed Fisher z's for each subject
for the three daily measures. Daily mood and daily job satisfaction
were related (r=.60, Â£<.05). Daily mood and daily self-competence
were also related (r=.55, Â£<.05), and daily job satisfaction and
daily self-competence were correlated (r=.60, Â£<.05).
When partial correlations were computed, with daily self-
competence held constant, daily mood and daily job satisfaction were
still correlated, although to a lesser extent (nr=.38. Â£<.05).
Similarly, daily mood and daily self-competence were still
related when daily job satisfaction was held constant (pr = .37,
Â£<.05), and daily job satisfaction and daily self-competence were
related when daily mood was held constant (pr=.41, Â£<.05; see
Daily mood and daily self-competence controlling for daily job satisfaction .78, Â£<.000
Daily mood and daily job satisfaction controlling for daily self-competence .11, not sign
Daily job satisfaction and daily self-competence controlling for daily mood .39, Â£<.002
Chronic mood and general self-competence controlling for general job satisfaction .12, not sign
Chronic mood and general job satisfaction, controlling for general self-competence .06, not sign
General self-competence and general job satisfaction controlling for chronic mood .73,Â£<.000
partial correlations with third variable partialed out
(Average r's and pr's computed from transformed Fischer z's for each
Daily mood with Daily job satisfaction r^.60, Â£<.05 pr=.38,Â£<.05
Daily mood with Daily self-competence r2=.55, Â£<.05 pr=.37,p<.05
Daily job satisfaction with Daily
r3 =.60, p<.05
partial correlations with third variable partialed out
The range of correlations across subjects was -.55xto +1.0
for daily mood and daily job satisfaction; -.61 to + .97 for daily
mood and daily self-competence, and -.29 to +1.0 for daily self-
competence and daily job satisfaction (see Table 4).
These statistics are lower than are the aggregated statis-
tics, and the partial correlations do not indicate any clear path
among the relationships, as did the aggregated analysis.
The multiple regression analysis (Tables 5 & 6) indicates
that daily mood does indeed have a strong impact on"daily self-
competence (R = .72, Â£ < .05) and on daily job satisfaction
(R = .77, p. < .05), while global perceptions of self-competence, job
satisfaction, and chronic mood generally have either small or
insignificant effects on the dependent variables. The lagged daily
variable does not contribute much variance to the multiple R,
although it does contribute more to the dependent variables than do
the global measures. Also, there was a moderately high level of
consistency across the four days, for the multiple R, when all five
variables had been entered into the equation, with R's ranging from
+ .49 to +.82 when daily self-competence was the dependent variable,
and R's ranging from +.53 to +.83 when daily job satisfaction was
the dependent variable.
(Range of Correlations for Subjects)
Daily mood with Daily job satisfaction -.55 to
Daily mood with Daily self-competence -.61 to
Daily job satisfaction with Daily
Dependent variable = daily self-competence
R adj. R2 F
Step 1 (CS) .18 .012 1.63
Step 2 (CM) .18 -.008 .80
Step 3 (MSQ) .22 -.009 .85
Step 4 (DSC) (lagged) .35 .044 1.59
Step 5 (EM) .49 .157 2.90
* Significant at .05
** Significant at .01
R adj. R2 F R
.37 .119 7.87* .31
.37 .101 3.86 .33
.39 .102 2.94 .44
.62 .338 7.51** .55
.82 .629 18.29** 00
adj. R2 F R
.075 5.15* .22
.074 3.04 .27
.147 3.42 .33
.247 5.17* .48
.559 13.93** .80
Dav 11________ ;___R
adj. R2 F
Dependent variable = daily job satisfaction (DJS)
Dav 2 Day 5
R adj. R2 F R adj. R2 F R
Step 1 (MSQ) .20 .02 2.03 .05 -.02 .12 .30
Step 2 (CM) .23 .01 1.39 .12 -.03 .37 .30
Step 3 (SC) .23 -.005 .91 .39 .10 2.82 .58
Step 4 (DJS) (Lagged) .31 .02 1.21 .54 .23 4.90* .66
Step 5 (EM) .75 .51 11.47** .73 .49 10.66** .83
* Significant at .05
** Significant at .01
Dav 8 Dav 11 Average R
adj. R2 F R adj. R2 F R
.07 4.97 .11 -.008 .58
.05 2.47 .11 -.029 .29
.29 8.13** .38 .09 2.69
.39 8.99** .47 .15 3.32
.65 20.06** .76 .53 12.44** .77
The hypotheses that mood is correlated with both job
satisfaction and perceived self-competence, and that job satisfac-
tion and perceived self-competence are correlated were strongly
supported. In particular, the daily measures of mood,
self-competence, and job satisfaction had high, significant
correlations. The global measures were also correlated, although to
a lesser extent.
The relationship of daily mood to both daily job satisfac-
tion and daily self-competence was found to be strong, accounting
for significant variance in the multiple regression equations even
when entered last, indicating that daily mood, rather than chronic
mood has the greatest effect on job satisfaction and perceived self-
competence. Also, there does appear to be a temporal relationship
between daily mood and both daily self-competence and daily job
satisfaction. Eckenrode (1984) found a temporal relationship
between daily stressors and daily mood of -.28, and it was a
stronger relationship than that between undesirable life events and
mood. He assumed that daily stressors were causes of mood, but this
may not be a complete picture of the relationship. Although this
study does not address daily stressors, daily mood is certainly a
predictor as much as a criterion variable. It may well be the
little things in life that greatly influence our perceptions of
self-competence and job satisfaction.
When partial correlations were computed for the daily
measures, a clear direction was shown, with mood directly affecting
self-competence, while moderating the job satisfaction-self-
competence relationship. The satisfaction we derive from our jobs
may well be due directly to our perceptions of self-competence.
However, self-competence is influenced by mood when these three
variables are analyzed together, indicating that daily mood is an
important aspect of how we view ourselves, our competencies, and,
thus, our job satisfaction.
Although the disaggregated correlations provided lower
estimates of the relationships between these variables, they were
significant. This may be a more realistic estimate of the relation-
ship, on the average, between these three variables, particularly
because it reflects the daily correlations. When partial correla-
tions were estimated using this method (Eckenrode, 1984), the clear
direction that mood takes when partials are estimated using aggrega-
ted data is not found. This may be due to the extreme variance
between subjects, rather than the lack of a direction.
Finally, the relationship between general job satisfaction
and general self-competence is strong and significant, as hypothe-
sized. Therenou and Harker found a correlation of .52 between these
two variables, measured at one point in time. It would be expected
that temporally aggregated data would yield a higher correlation, as
it did (.74), due to increased reliability. Both questionnaires ask
subjects to rate feelings about work, since the theoretical
foundations of self-competence always include aspects of
work-related abilities. Therefore, it is not surprising that this
relationship is as strong as it is. What is more interesting is
that on a daily level, mood moderates the relationship, while on a
global level, the relationship is not affected when mood is
statistically controlled. It appears possible that the daily
relationship is more sensitive to mood than the global relationship.
Overall, the data provide compelling evidence that mood is
strongly related to our perceptions of self-competence and job
satisfaction, particularly daily mood and daily feelings of self-
competence and job satisfaction. Additionally, these appear to be
highly stable cognitive and affective 'states', which influence not
only one another, but also the more general, global contructs
There are, however, weaknesses in this research. First,
method variance may. be contributing to the high correlations between
the three daily measures. These scales were on the same page and
were filled out by subjects one right after the other. Mood was
rated first, job satisfaction second, and self-competence third.
Subjects were asked to write a short paragraph about the variable
being rated before they rated it, and this may have made the feeling
or perception salient enough to counteract possible method
artifacts, but the possibility of method error variance cannot be
ruled out at this point.
Another possibility is that the three measures all measure
the same construct, and that Fazio (1986) is correct when he states
that attitudes are affect. Perhaps job satisfaction and self-
competence are really simply affect, particularly when they are
temporary, daily perceptions. Further analysis with other scales
representing these constructs is needed to give greater validity to
Second, these were self-report measures, and caution must
always temper conclusions when subjects are reporting, rather than
behaving, although not all researchers feel that the two are
necessarily independent from one another.
There are some fascinating implications in, this research for
organizations. If daily mood is influencing perceptions of self-
competence, which has been shown previously to be related to job
satisfaction, then it may be to managers' benefit to attempt daily
mood elevation in workers. Also, because perceived self-competence
is so highly related to job satisfaction, on both a daily and a
global level, it would seem wise to maximize probability of success
on tasks, when possible, in order to increase perceptions of self-
The interrelationships between these three variables is only
beginning to be studied, and future research should include both
self-report and laboratory studies, in order to further, explore both
the nature and relationships of mood, job satisfaction, and self-
competence. Nevertheless, this study seems to indicate that these
variables are highly related to one another, and that we are indeed
subject to the whims of our "moodiness."
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