Attention State and Critical Psychological States as Mediators Between Job Dimensions and Job Outcomes

Shaul Fox, Gerald Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Activity-related-attention (ARA), representing the arousal level, is proposed as an intervening variable linking job characteristics to job outcomes. Two initial studies evaluated a new ARA state questionnaire assessing job-related attentional states. Worker responses displayed high internal consistency and were related to job satisfaction as well as to differences between mundane and enjoyable activities. Student responses displayed high test-retest correlations over a 2-week period. The third study compared the relative role of attention/arousal vs. the critical psychological states (CPS) appearing in Hackman and Oldham's (1976) job characteristics model. Questionnaires completed by 119 employees dealt with (1) job characteristics, (2) job outcomes of work satisfaction, effort, and performance, and (3) ARA state, and CPS. Regression analyses indicated that CPS tended to have a stronger mediating role than ARA in the relation between job characteristics and outcomes. However, ARA was found to contribute significantly to the prediction of perceived effort over and above the contribution of CPS. The article discusses the differences between ARA and CPS both in theory and measurement, and displays the potential value of the ARA state in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988


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