Reactions to merit pay increases: A longitudinal test of a signal sensitivity perspective

Jason DeFrance Shaw, Michelle K. Duffy, Atul Mitra, Daniel E. Lockhart, Matthew Bowler

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The relationships among merit pay raises, trait positive affectivity (PA), and reactions to merit pay increases (pay attitudes and behavioral intentions) were explored in a longitudinal study of hospital employees. Drawing on signal sensitivity theory, the authors expected that PA would moderate the relationship between merit pay raise size and reactions to the increase such that pay raise size would be more strongly related to pay attitudes and behavioral intentions among those low in PA. Results strongly supported the predictions in the case of reactions to the raise amount (happiness and effort intentions) but not for pay level satisfaction. Implications of the results and directions for future research are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-544
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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