Maintaining an even keel: An affect-mediated model of mindfulness and hostile work behavior

Emotion. 2015 Oct;15(5):579-589. doi: 10.1037/emo0000060. Epub 2015 Mar 16.


Mindfulness, defined in terms of greater attention to and awareness of the present moment, may benefit equanimity both outside and inside the workplace. Two studies (total N = 224) of part-time employees supported this idea. Employees who were higher in dispositional mindfulness were less Machiavellian (Study 1), and they engaged in fewer counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs; Study 2). Furthermore, and consistent with an emotion-related theory of mindfulness, these inverse relationships were mediated by hostile feelings such as irritation and anger. That is, mindful people were less hostile in their behaviors in part because they were less prone to hostile feelings. The results suggest that mindfulness may be an efficacious state in reducing hostile feelings and behaviors at work. More generally, they contribute to an emotion-related perspective of mindfulness and some of its behavioral consequences.

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Anger
  • Attention
  • Awareness
  • Behavior*
  • Female
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood
  • Male
  • Mindfulness*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Workplace / psychology*
  • Young Adult