Page 4

(—) ⫺.05 (—) .17 ⫺.05 (—) .26ⴱ ⫺.11 ⫺.04 (—) ⫺.03 ⫺.01 ⫺.24ⴱ .24ⴱ (—) ⫺.04 ⫺.02 .29ⴱⴱ .29ⴱⴱ ⫺.11 (—) .46ⴱⴱ ⫺.13 ⫺.04 .30ⴱⴱ .32ⴱⴱ ⫺.25ⴱ Note. Reliabilities are presented along the diagonal within parentheses. pre ⫽ pre-intervention; post ⫽ post-intervention. Gender was dummy coded: 0 ⫽ male; 1 ⫽ female. p ⬍ .05. ⴱⴱ p ⬍ .01 (two-tailed). ⴱ

(.83) .67ⴱⴱ ⫺.19 ⫺.02 .13 ⫺.06 ⫺.19 ⫺.14 .26ⴱⴱ (.95) .09 .49ⴱⴱ ⫺.21ⴱ ⫺.46ⴱⴱ .03 ⫺.02 ⫺.15 ⫺.30ⴱⴱ .26ⴱ (.93) .46ⴱⴱ .42ⴱⴱ .36ⴱⴱ ⫺.30ⴱⴱ ⫺.23ⴱ .25ⴱ ⫺.09 ⫺.20 ⫺.36ⴱⴱ .39ⴱⴱ (.92) .02 ⫺.14 ⫺.17 ⫺.33ⴱⴱ .27ⴱⴱ .33ⴱⴱ ⫺.03 ⫺.15 ⫺.07 .21ⴱ ⫺.10 (.89) .81ⴱⴱ ⫺.03 ⫺.03 ⫺.23ⴱ ⫺.25ⴱ .22ⴱ .25ⴱ ⫺.09 ⫺.10 ⫺.06 .15 ⫺.15 (.89) ⫺.21ⴱ ⫺.22ⴱ .27ⴱⴱ .39ⴱⴱ .10 .24ⴱ ⫺.10 ⫺.21ⴱ .15 ⫺.17 ⫺.12 ⫺.08 .27ⴱⴱ (.83) .71ⴱⴱ ⫺.27ⴱⴱ ⫺.18 .21ⴱ .10 .11 .08 ⫺.07 ⫺.07 .10 ⫺.18 ⫺.01 .01 .36ⴱⴱ 1.05 1.05 1.34 1.34 1.35 1.59 1.42 1.36 1.94 2.06 0.44 6.29 16.37 2.11 1.11

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 SD M

(.91) ⫺.30ⴱⴱ ⫺.29ⴱⴱ .00 .02 ⫺.18 ⫺.22ⴱ .21ⴱ a

Unless otherwise noted, the response set for the measures consisted of a 7-point Likert-type scale, with responses ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7). The items were averaged to form the scale, with greater values signifying higher levels of each measure than lower values. Reliabilities are provided in Table 1.

Variable

Measures

Table 1 Means, Standard Deviations, Reliabilities, and Correlations Among Dependent and Control Variables

Participants were recruited from a large northwestern university in North America. They were paid $40 for their participation. All participants indicated that they had experienced unfair treatment from a previous manager. A total of 101 individuals volunteered to participate. One participant was dropped from the analyses because her schedule changed after starting the study and she was no longer able to complete the sessions. Thus, the final sample consisted of 100 individuals, all of whom completed the entire experimental protocol. Participants were an average of 23 years of age, with 5 years of work experience. Among the sample, 75% were women and 97% were students (of whom 84% were undergraduates, 6% were pursuing a master’s degree, 4% were in a master of business administration program, 2% were unclassified, and 1% was earning a doctorate). A variety of occupations were represented in the sample: 47% worked in the service industry (e.g., meter readers, cashiers), 27% were employed in sales (e.g., call center employees, retail sales), and 16% worked in professional offices (e.g., college instructors, research analysts). On average, participants had been employed at the job where the injustice occurred for 16 months. Participants wrote about a range of unfair experiences (e.g., denial of promotion, being demeaned, being subject to racism, sexual harassment), however, there were no significant differences across the conditions regarding how unfair individuals perceived their treatment. Following procedures by Pennebaker (1994), participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions (25 participants per condition) in which they wrote about (a) their emotions, (b) their thoughts, (c) both their emotions and their thoughts concerning the unfairness, or (d) a control condition, in which participants wrote about a trivial topic (i.e., objective descriptions of schedules, rooms). A detailed description of the procedure is provided in Appendix A.

8

9

Participants and Procedure

2.90 2.46 4.28 4.88 4.57 3.25 2.87 2.15 3.90 4.37 0.75 22.74 16.25 3.58 2.93

Method

Physical symptoms (pre) Physical symptoms (post) Psychological well-being (pre) Psychological well-being (post) Anger (pre) Anger (post) Retaliation intentions (pre) Retaliation intentions (post) Perceived resolution (pre) Perceived resolution (post) Gendera Age Time lapse (months) Situation resolution Negative affectivity

10

11

12

Hypothesis 4: Writing about both emotions and thoughts regarding an unfair work experience is associated with a greater sense of personal resolution than writing about only emotions, only thoughts, or topics unrelated to the experience of workplace injustice (i.e., control condition).

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

13

14

15

studies have tested whether expressive writing is associated with feelings of resolution. Following the arguments presented above, we expected that writing about emotions and thoughts would help individuals achieve a sense of resolution because it repeatedly exposes them to the experience, allows them to vent emotion and cognitively process their thoughts, and can make the experience seem less overwhelming.

(.84)

RESEARCH REPORTS

514

Healing the Wounds of Organizational Injustice Examining the Benefits of Expressive Writing  
Healing the Wounds of Organizational Injustice Examining the Benefits of Expressive Writing  

JournalofAppliedPsychology ©2009AmericanPsychologicalAssociation 2009,Vol.94,No.2,511–523 0021-9010/09/$12.00 DOI:10.1037/a0013451 Universit...

Advertisement