Positivity, Burnout and Work Engagement: how Much Positivity is Enough?

  • E. Gruszczynska
  • B.A. Basinska


Background: According to Fredrickson and Losada, positivity ratio (PR) is the proportion between positive and negative emotions. Relationship between PR and well-being seems to be non-linear with a curve point around 3 for PR. The aim of our study was to examine the effect of positivity on burnout and work engagement. Methods: A group of white-collar workers (n=139) was evaluated with JAWS (PR), OLBI (burnout: disengagement and exhaustion) and UWES (work engagement: vigor, dedication, absorption). Results: The relation between PR and burnout subscales had a curvilinear pattern with a curve point around 2. A curvilinear relation was also found for PR and vigor, whereas for dedication and absorption it was linear. After the adjustment for the relation between burnout and work engagement, only vigor and dedication were associated linearly with PR. Discussion: The results confirm that in the work context the moderate positivity ratio is associated with the lowest burnout level. However, the relationship with work engagement is more complicated, suggesting a rather beneficial effect of PR increase on vigor and dedication. The mechanism underlying these relations needs further research.
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