Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 465–479 | Cite as

The mediating role of positive and negative affect in the situational motivation-performance relationship

  • Nicolas GilletEmail author
  • Robert J. Vallerand
  • Marc-André K. Lafrenière
  • Julien S. Bureau
Original Paper


Based on self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan in Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. Plenum Publishing Co., New York, 1985) and the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson in Am Psychol 56:218–226, 2001), the purpose of the present research was to propose and test an integrative model on the role of positive and negative affect as mediators of the situational motivation-performance relationship. Specifically, the hypothesized model posits that autonomous motivation predicts positive affect, while controlled motivation and amotivation both lead to negative affect. In addition, amotivation negatively predicts positive affect. In turn, positive and negative affect positively and negatively predict performance, respectively. The model was confirmed in three studies using correlational (Studies 1 and 2) and experimental designs (Study 3) with a cognitive task (anagrams). In addition, the role of individual differences (Study 2) and situational factors (Study 3) as triggers of the “Motivation-Affect-Performance” sequence was confirmed. Theoretical implications and directions for future research are discussed.


Motivation Performance Positive and negative affect Self-determination theory Broaden-and-build theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Gillet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert J. Vallerand
    • 2
  • Marc-André K. Lafrenière
    • 2
  • Julien S. Bureau
    • 3
  1. 1.EA 2114 Psychologie des Âges de la Vie, Département de PsychologieUniversité François-Rabelais de Tours, U.F.R Arts et Sciences HumainesTours Cedex 1France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social, Département de PsychologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Département de PsychologieUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

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