Research Summary

The Subjective Experience of Work

by Teresa M. Amabile


In a related research stream, I study how individuals experience work day by day, what influences that subjective experience, and what the consequences are for performance. This builds on the work-diary research that culminated in my book, The Progress Principle. My current projects in this stream include: (a) The effect of daily self-reflection about work, and review of one’s past reflections, on emotions, perceptions, motivation, and behaviors. This series of online experiments is being done in collaboration with doctoral student Ting Zhang. (b) The experience of downtime (idle time) at work. A paper reporting this series of experiments, with doctoral student Andrew Brodsky, is currently under review for publication. (c) With doctoral student Mike Lee, I am collaborating on a series of studies to examine the antecedents and consequences of emotional equanimity at work -- the ability to focus and perform effectively even under emotionally intense circumstances. We have completed one experiment and are about to launch a second.