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J Appl Psychol. 2009 Jul;94(4):1003-17. doi: 10.1037/a0015517.

An experience sampling study of learning, affect, and the demands control support model.

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Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK.


The demands control support model (R. A. Karasek & T. Theorell, 1990) indicates that job control and social support enable workers to engage in problem solving. In turn, problem solving is thought to influence learning and well-being (e.g., anxious affect, activated pleasant affect). Two samples (N = 78, N = 106) provided data up to 4 times per day for up to 5 working days. The extent to which job control was used for problem solving was assessed by measuring the extent to which participants changed aspects of their work activities to solve problems. The extent to which social support was used to solve problems was assessed by measuring the extent to which participants discussed problems to solve problems. Learning mediated the relationship between changing aspects of work activities to solve problems and activated pleasant affect. Learning also mediated the relationship between discussing problems to solve problems and activated pleasant affect. The findings indicated that how individuals use control and support to respond to problem-solving demands is associated with organizational and individual phenomena, such as learning and affective well-being.

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