PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS SATISFACTION: EVALUATING THE MODERATING EFFECTS OF SOURCE AND DOMAIN OF NEED SATISFACTION ON JOB ATTITUDES
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This research examines the relationships between the satisfaction of psychological needs (belongingness and distinctiveness) on affective and cognitive attitudes (job satisfaction and commitment) with an emphasis on identifying key differential and moderating effects. This study hypothesizes the direct effects of need satisfaction and moderating effects of the source (individual & group) and domain (work & non-work) of need satisfaction. Hypotheses were tested with a cross-sectional survey of alumni from a regional college in the mid-Atlantic United States. Results indicated that satisfying the needs for belongingness and distinctiveness whether through source (individual vs. group) or by domain (work vs. non-work) have a positive impact on job attitudes. However, the results for the moderating and differential effects along with post-hoc analyses provides additional insights. Overall, this study found that the satisfaction of psychological needs have important direct effects on affective and cognitive job attitudes. Results indicated that the source of need satisfaction (individual and group) and the domain in which a need is satisfied do moderate the relationship between psychological need satisfaction and specific cognitive and affective job attitudes. In many circumstances, the moderating effect was not as expected. Additionally, the context of virtuality had a significant impact on only a few relationships. Post-hoc analyses showed that the relationship among the variables in this study are more complex than hypothesized and should be evaluated more fully.