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Root Causes of Positive Emotion at Work

Individual Sources, Dynamics, and Expressions of Emotion

ISBN: 978-1-78190-888-4, eISBN: 978-1-78190-889-1

ISSN: 1746-9791

Publication date: 1 September 2014


While researchers have assumed that it is not possible to determine the key reactants that cause positive emotional reactions, we argue that experiences, such as watching an entertaining television show or working in a pleasant climate, produce their positive effects through one or more “root causes” of positive emotion. This study identified a classification of root causes derived from reports of individual positive moments submitted by office workers throughout their workday. Through identifying root causes, such as Fulfilled Expectations, Positive Self-Image, Humor, and Relief, we provide the first data-driven attempt to develop a taxonomy of root causes of positive affect at work.




We would like to thank all the participants and Sietse Jonkman, Simon Goldman, Sille Paas, Erik Laane, Martin Laane, Emily Murphy, Jamie Brown, Sophie E. L. Williams, and Allan-Hermann Pool.


Laane, K., Aczel, B., Dickinson, A. and Teichmann, M. (2014), "Root Causes of Positive Emotion at Work", Individual Sources, Dynamics, and Expressions of Emotion (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 9-22.



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