Aspects of Psychological Empirical Study

As is the case in other social sciences, psychology heavily relies on statistical analysis and empirical research to ground its hypotheses and increase its scientifical value. In summarizing some of the most notable articles in the psychological research field, a writer is to take into account the statistical tools it involves, as well as the sample specifics. This paper is relating the main points of the Decent work, work motivation, and psychological capital: An empirical research article, including its sample, independent and dependent variables, hypothesis, and measurements.

The article in question examines the concepts of meaningful and decent work, motivation, and non-financial rewards from a perspective of psychological capital. Knowledge workers were picked as a populational sample for this topic, with 1327 participants coming from Portugal, and 1585 coming from Brazil (Ferraro et al, 2018). The occupation distribution and age demographics presented are both elaborated upon in the article. The study involved researchers, physicians, lawyers, faculty members, and, in lesser numbers, computer engineers, financial analysts, and air traffic controllers between the ages of 21 and 81.

The study positions the levels of satisfaction with one’s work and motivation while carrying it out as dependent variables. Other factors are studied from the standpoint of assessing how they affect the emotional perception that survey participants develop toward their occupations. The independent variables identified by the study involve different components of the Decent Work framework. Namely, the research focused on the ways professional motivation in knowledge workers was shaped by fundamental principles and values at work, adequate workload, emotional fulfillment, social protection, and meaningfulness. Every variable’s impact on the dependant variable is measured in terms of the correlation coefficient. The correlation tests themselves are predominantly used to test the dynamics between the instances of nominal data, and the coefficients presented in the study are also presented in the nominal matter.

The hypothesis of the research claims that the Decent Work factors would have a stronger positive relationship with intrinsic, self-centered motivation. A negative correlation was expected with motivation, while extrinsic motivation was theorized to be less affected by any of the DW factors. Within this hypothesis, a type I error, or false positive, would be identifying a strong correlation between the high presence of DW factors and high internal motivation if it was not present. Similarly, a type II error, or false negative, would entail assessing the correlation as non-existent, while it was present in reality and the results were interpreted falsely.

The level of canonical correlation for the study lies generally between 0.62 and 0.66, both of which indicate a strong positive correlation. The variance, depending on the sub-set of the sample, lies between 11 and 14%. Overall, the study concludes by affirming its hypothesis on the positive influence that Decent Work factors exhibit on the motivation and work attitude of knowledge workers. The factors of the societal value of one’s work and whether its nature is interesting are particularly interesting from the standpoint of organizational psychology. It establishes the clear relationship between work conditions and psychological comfort at the workplace, which, in turn, influences a person’s motivation. Different independent variables demonstrated various levels of influence on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, but the tendency remained consistent. Thus, the Decent Work values, as well as the other frameworks with a similar goal, are inherently valuable to the HR managers and organizational psychologists of today.


Ferraro, T., Moreira, J., dos Santos, N., Pais, L., & Sedmak, C. (2018). Decent work, work motivation and psychological capital: An empirical research. Work, 60(2), 339-354. doi: 10.3233/wor-182732

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Aspects of Psychological Empirical Study." January 6, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "Aspects of Psychological Empirical Study." January 6, 2023.