Volume 1, Issue 1, 2017

Positive Psychology In the Workplace: An Integrative Model of Psychological Empowerment, Psychological Capital and Explanatory Style

By Weiwen Nie, Baruch College REU Program & Erin Eatough, PhD, Baruch College
Published August 31st, 2017


An integrative conceptual model, that linked concepts of psychological empowerment, psychological capital and explanatory style in the workplace, was hypothesized and tested in two studies. For Study 1, we conducted a survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk, for which 288 reports from full-time employees across the US were collected. For Study 2, we conducted a 6-week long longitudinal study on a master Occupational Health course, which involved 13 students who worked more than 20 hours per week. These students were surveyed on a weekly basis for the duration of the study. In line with previous research, data from both studies suggested that psychological empowerment was significantly, positively related to psychological capital. Data from Study 1 suggested an explanatory style for positive events in the workplace was significantly related to both psychological empowerment and psychological capital. Explanatory style did not moderate the relationship between psychological empowerment and psychological capital in Study 1. Data from Study 2 supported the idea that the explanatory style for negative events in the workplace moderated the relationship between psychological empowerment and psychological capital.

Keywords: Positive Psychology, Psychological Empowerment, Psychological Capital, Explanatory Style