Wish-making during the COVID-19 pandemic enhances positive appraisals and job satisfaction

Thomas W.H. Ng*, Dennis Y. Hsu, Frederick H.K. Yim, Yinuo Zou, Haoyang Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Guided by cognitive appraisal theory, we argue that wish-making is a conceptually distinct type of coping strategy and that wish-making during the COVID-19 pandemic has functional cognitive–affective consequences. Specifically, it facilitates positive appraisals of the pandemic, which then facilitate job satisfaction. Enhanced job satisfaction in turn reduces counterproductive work behavior during the pandemic. These arguments were tested via two empirical studies involving 546 Hong Kong employees surveyed on two consecutive working days during the pandemic. The individuals who made wishes during the pandemic reported more positive appraisals of the pandemic, which in turn promoted their job satisfaction and lowered their counterproductive work behavior. Crucially, wish-making had significant effects on positive appraisals above and beyond other coping strategies. Thus, we contribute to the employee coping literature by highlighting one relatively easy way for employees to combat the psychological effects of the pandemic (and other challenges in life) and regulate their affective well-being and behaviors at work. Namely, making wishes that envision a better future can enhance employees' job satisfaction, which in turn lowers counterproductive work behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103619
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Appraisals
  • Counterproductive work behavior
  • Job satisfaction
  • Pandemics
  • Wishes


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