Associate Professor

Head shot of James BeckBS, Michigan State University

MA, University of Akron

PhD, University of Minnesota

Contact information


Research interests

My research deals primarily with motivational and self-regulatory processes. I study the way individuals allocate finite resources, such as time, effort, and attention across multiple, competing demands.

Selected publications

Student co-authors are underlined.

  • Beck, J. W., Schmidt, A. M., & Natali, M. W. (in press). Efficient proximal resource allocation strategies predict distal team performance: Evidence from the National Hockey League. Journal of Applied Psychology.
  • Phan, V. & Beck, J. W. (in press). The impact of goal progress velocity on affect while pursuing multiple sequential goals. Motivation Science.
  • Beck, J. W., & Godollei, A. F. (in press). A dynamic perspective on workplace motivation. In Y. Griep, S. D. Hansen, T. Vantilborgh, & J. Hofmans (Eds.), A Dynamic Look at Organizational Behavior Topics (pp. XX-XX). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
  • Beck, J. W., & Shen, W. (2019). The effects of U.S. presidential elections on work engagement and job performance. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 68, 547-576.
  • Beck, J. W., & Schmidt, A. M. (2018). Negative relationships between self-efficacy and performance can be adaptive: The mediating role of resource allocation. Journal of Management44, 555-588.
  • Beck, J. W., Scholer, A. A., & Hughes, J. (2017). Divergent effects of distance versus velocity disturbances on emotional experiences during goal pursuit. Journal of Applied Psychology102, 1109-1123.
  • Beck, J. W., Scholer, A. A., & Schmidt, A. M. (2017). Workload, risks, and goal framing as antecedents of shortcut behaviors. Journal of Business and Psychology32, 421-440.
  • Beck, J. W., Beatty, A. S., & Sackett, P. R. (2014). On the distribution of job performance: The role of measurement characteristics in observed departures from normality. Personnel Psychology67, 531-566.
  • Beck, J. W., & Schmidt, A. M. (2013). State-level goal orientations as mediators of the relationship between time pressure and performance: A longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Psychology98, 354-363.
  • Beck, J. W., & Schmidt, A. M. (2012). Taken out of context? Cross-level effects of between-person self-efficacy and difficulty on the within-person relationship of self-efficacy with resource allocation and performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119, 195-208.
  • Beck, J. W., Carr, A. E., & Walmsley, P. T. (2012). What have you done for me lately? Charisma attenuates the decline in U.S. presidential approval over time. Leadership Quarterly, 23, 934-942.
University of Waterloo

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