Senior Teaching and Research Associate
Central Research Interests
- Lay theories about willpower: consequences, mechanisms, and age differencies
- Self-regulation and self-control across the life-span
- Implicit motives, explicit motives, and goals
Brief Research Statement
In my research I am interested in determinants, processes, and outcomes of successful self-regulation, and goal-striving. My research interests are focused on two main topics: 1) lay theories about willpower and their effect on successful self-regulation and goal-striving and 2) the role of implicit motives, explicit motives, and personal goals for differences in affective experience and behavior.
Concretely, I linked ego-depletion research with the lay theory approach. I showed that the way people think about acts of self-control (as consuming from a limited vs. as a non-limited resource) affects their self-regulation ability and their personal goal striving (Job, Dweck, & Walton, 2010). This research suggests that people get impaired in their self-control capacity after a demanding task only if they believe that strenuous tasks deplete resources, but not if they believe that demanding tasks are energizing. Continuing this research, I am presently investigating mechanisms mediating the effects of lay theories on self-regulation and expanding the research towards interventions. Furthermore, my current research interests are focused on the development of implicit theories about willpower across the life-span and whether effects of willpower theories (e.g., on self-regulation and well-being) vary with age.
In my second line of research I am interested in processes and outcomes of implicit motive satisfaction. In a recent project, we tested the assumption that implicit motives involve the desire for specific affective experiences. In the domain of close relationships, we showed that frequent experiences of one’s preferred affect – affect that satisfies one’s implicit motives – can lead to enhanced relationship satisfaction (Job, Bernecker, & Dweck, 2012). Further, we could show that if a motive cannot be satisfied, as it is the case when people have explicit motives or strive for explicit goals that are not congruent with their implicit motive dispositions, it has detrimental effects on self-regulation and well-being (e.g., eating behavior, Job, Oertig, Brandstätter, & Allemand, 2010).
- Job, V., Bernecker, K., Miketta, S., & Friese, M. (in press). Implicit theories about willpower predict the activation of a rest goal following self-control exertion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- Job, V., Walton, G. M., Bernecker, K., & Dweck, C. S. (in press). Implicit theories about willpower predict self-regulation and grades in everyday life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- Job, V., Walton, G. M., Bernecker, K., & Dweck, C. S. (2013). Beliefs about willpower determine the impact of glucose on self-control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 14837–14842. doi:10.1073/pnas.1313475110
- Job, V., Bernecker, K., & Dweck, C.S. (2012). Are implicit motives the need to feel certain affect? Motive-affect congruence predicts relationship satisfaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 1552-1565. doi:10.1177/0146167212454920
- Job, V., Dweck, C. S, & Walton, G. M. (2010). Ego-depletion – Is it all in your head? Implicit theories about willpower affect self-regulation. Psychological Science, 21, 1686-1693. doi:10.1177/0956797610384745
- Job, V., Oertig, D., Brandstätter, V., & Allemand, M. (2010). Discrepancies between implicit and explicit motivation and unhealthy eating behavior. Journal of Personality, 78, 1209-1238. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00648.x
- Job, V., Langens, T. A., & Brandstätter, V. (2009). Effects of achievement goal striving on well-being: The moderating role of the explicit achievement motive. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 983-996. doi:10.1177/0146167209336606
|2007||Dr. phil., University of Zurich, Switzerland (Thesis Title: Antecedents and Consequences of Motive-Goal Congruence)|
|2003||M.A., University of Zurich, Switzerland (Thesis Title: Development of an Implicit Association Test (IAT) for the Achievement and Affiliation Motive)|
|Since 2014||Senior Teaching and Research Associate, University of Zurich, Department of Psychology, Zurich, Switzerland|
|2011–2014||Research Scientist (Ambizione grant awarded by the Sweiss National Science Foundation), University of Zurich, Department of Psychology, Zurich, Switzerland|
|2008–2010||Post-Doctoral Fellow at Stanford University, Department of Psychology (advisor: Carol S. Dweck), Stanford, CA, USA|
|2007–2008||Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Zurich, Department of Psychology (advisor: Veronika Brandstätter), Zurich, Switzerland|
|2003–2007||Doctoral Student at the University of Zurich, Department of Psychology (Thesis advisors: Veronika Brandstätter, Friedrich Wilkening), Zurich, Switzerland|