Publication Date



While the dispositional approach to job satisfaction has received a good deal of recent attention, a fundamental deficiency in past dispositional research is a failure to use existing theories to explain why individuals are unhappy and dissatisfied with their jobs. Locke (1976), Judge (in press), and Judge and Hulin (in press) suggested that thinking processes should be studied in relation to job satisfaction. This study tested the thesis that the cognitive theory of depression, which focuses on irrational thought processes, will help in understanding both subjective well-being and job satisfaction. A causal model involving subjective well-being, job satisfaction, dysfunctional thought processes, and other relevant influences was hypothesized and tested using a stratified random sample of university employees. Ratings were obtained from two sources in order to reduce single-source bias. The results indicated strong support for the overall model and for the efficacy of dysfunctional thought processes.


Suggested Citation
Judge, T. A., & Locke, E. A. (1992). The effect of dysfunctional thought processes on subjective well-being and job satisfaction (CAHRS Working Paper #92-12). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.