Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 707–727 | Cite as

Positivity and Behaviour: The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy in Organisational and Educational Settings

  • Claudio BarbaranelliEmail author
  • Marinella Paciello
  • Valentina Biagioli
  • Roberta Fida
  • Carlo Tramontano
Research Paper


Positivity is an evaluative disposition capturing what self-esteem, life satisfaction and optimism have in common. Self-efficacy refers to specific beliefs aimed at exercising control over the events through self-regulation. This paper examines in two studies whether the effect of positivity on performance is mediated by self-efficacy beliefs. The first examines the role of task and empathic self-efficacy in mediating the relationship of positivity with respect to in-role and extra-role behaviours in a sample of 829 Italian adult employees. The second examines the role of academic self-efficacy in mediating the relationship of positivity with respect to academic grades and academic citizenship behaviour on a sample of 223 Italian university students. Structural Equation Models results revealed that: (1) the relationship between positivity and both in-role and extra-role behaviours was substantially mediated by self-efficacy beliefs; (2) the relationship between positivity and both school grades and citizenship behaviours was completely mediated by self-efficacy beliefs.


Academic success Meditation Self-efficacy Positivity In-role behaviour Extra-role behaviour 



This study was partially supported by the “Progetti di Ricerca di Università Anno 2015 - prot. C26A15ZEAB” from Sapienza University of Rome to Claudio Barbaranelli.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Uninettuno Telematic International UniversityRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biomedicine and PreventionUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  4. 4.Norwich Business SchoolUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  5. 5.Centre for Advances in Behavioural ScienceCoventry UniversityCoventryUK

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