School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)


Benjamin Wood


cognitive appraisal, motivation theory, positive psychological capital, PsyCap, courage, social courage, workplace




This study responds to calls for empirical investigation of courage as well as the discovery of positive psychological capital (PsyCap) antecedents. Courage and PsyCap are considered positive constructs associated with beneficial workplace outcomes. As an example, Workplace Social Courage (WSC) predicts organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). PsyCap is robustly correlated with performance outcomes, well-being, and sustainability. For its societal appeal, courage is not yet robustly validated. Further, interventions have demonstrated resultant increases in PsyCap, yet little is known of its antecedent variables. Also, to be discovered, are what variables mediate WSC. These gaps in research present opportunity for additional empirical investigation of WSC and PsyCap as acts of framing and priming (cognitive appraisal) for formation, regulation, and maintenance of potent WSC and PsyCap. Mainstay motivation theories of Expectancy-, Goal-, Future Time Perspective-, and Self Determination-Theory are examined and intertwined with PsyCap variables reiterating the valid call for study of WSC and PsyCap antecedents, while emphasizing the need to unify motivation theories for composite research efforts which increase the prevalence of WSC and PsyCap in the individual and therefore the workplace. Pragmatic methodology able to serve diverse industries and cultures is required to surpass anecdotal quasi-impactful shortcomings. Results showed that Behavioral WSC and PsyCap are acts of positive cognitive appraisals and predictive of PsyCap, which partially mediated between WSC and Behavioral WSC.

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