The balance between positive and negative affect in employee well-being

David J. Yoon, Joyce E. Bono, Tao Yang, Ki Young Lee, Theresa M. Glomb, Michelle K Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We examine the effects of the balance between positive and negative affect experienced at work on well-being outcomes. An extensive literature on affect balance suggests that it is not only positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) alone that affect well-being; rather it is the balance between them that matters. We use experience sampling methods and polynomial regression to test the notion that daily PA and NA at work, along with their interactive and nonlinear effects, predict employee well-being after work. In a sample of working adults, we find that affect balance—the dynamic interplay between daily PA and NA—at work was differentially associated with various indices of well-being: PA, NA, and the interaction between them predicted physical and mental health. Affect balance at work also predicted life satisfaction, but only for those low on trait affect balance. Detailed examination of the joint effects of PA, NA, and the balance between them reveals that high PA at work is most important for life satisfaction, whereas both low NA and high PA are important for health. Low NA plays an especially important role in physical health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-782
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We recognize and appreciate the staff at our respective universities that supported us as faculty members while we conducted this research. The fourth author received financial support from the “BK21 FOUR (Fostering Outstanding Universities for Research)” in 2021, and Yonsei University's 2020‐2 Future‐Leading Research Initiative (2020‐22‐0493), and Signature Research Cluster Program of 2021 (2021‐22‐0006).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • affect
  • affect balance
  • health
  • life satisfaction
  • well-being


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