Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Affect, variability, pulse, spin, job stress

Major Advisor

Vicki Magley

Associate Advisor

Steven Mellor

Associate Advisor

Howard Tennen

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Research on emotions has been influenced by societal changes and developments, and scholars have recognized that the integration of both cognition and affect in predicting employees’ attitudes and behaviors is a vital next step in organizational research efforts. Despite the growing interest in the dynamic nature of affectivity at work, most studies have examined either cross-sectional or mean levels of affective states, overlooking the variability from a multidimensional perspective. This dissertation examines a novel approach to conceptualizing and measuring affect variability. In particular, how affect pulse (i.e., the variability of affect intensity) and affect spin (i.e., the variability of qualitatively different affective states) may play a role in important organizational outcomes. In utilizing a quantitative, daily diary dataset on employees, both inter-and intra-individual variability was measured within a multilevel framework. More specifically, this dissertation examined antecedents and outcomes of pulse and spin, along with the role pulse and spin have within a stressor-strain framework. Results indicate that affect spin was low in this sample, making significant effects difficult to detect. On the other hand, affect pulse was high in this sample and tended toward positive and activated states. Significant direct effects to, and from, affect pulse were found with workplace stress, appreciation/recognition, and employee performance. Findings suggest that affect pulse may be a reactive phenomenon that occurs at work and has beneficial outcomes for employees and organizations. Future research, limitations, and organizational implications are then discussed.