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.

  • Phan, V., Nishioka, M., Beck, J. W., & Scholer, A. A. (in press). Goal progress velocity as a determinant of shortcut behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology. 
  • Minnikin, A., Beck, J. W., & Shen, W. (in press). Why do you ask? The effects of perceived motives on the effort that managers allocate toward delivering feedback. Journal of Business and Psychology. 
  • Beck, J. W., & Flow, A. (2022). The effects of contracting Covid-19 on cognitive failures at work: Implications for task performance and turnover intentions. Scientific Reports, 12, 8826. 
  • Gödöllei, A. F. Beck, J. W. (2020). Development and validation of the State Regulatory Focus Scale. Human Performance, 33, 104-129. 
  • Phan, V. & Beck, J. W. (2020). The impact of goal progress velocity on affect while pursuing multiple sequential goals. Motivation Science, 6, 247-258. 
  • Beck, J. W., Gödöllei, A. F. (2020). A dynamic perspective on workplace motivation. In Y. Griep & S. D. Hansen (Eds.), Handbook on the Temporal Dynamics of Organizational Behavior (pp. 237-250). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. 
  • Beck, J. W., Schmidt, A. M., & Natali, M. W. (2019). Efficient proximal resource allocation strategies predict distal team performance: Evidence from the National Hockey League. Journal of Applied Psychology104, 1387-1403.  
  • 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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