Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 521–530 | Cite as

Affect variation across days of the week: influences of perfectionism and academic motivation

  • Brenda Harvey
  • Marina Milyavskaya
  • Nora Hope
  • Theodore A. Powers
  • Mark Saffran
  • Richard Koestner
Original Paper


The current study used a prospective design and the assessment of personal goals to examine the relation of self-critical and personal standards perfectionism to affective variation across days of the week. University students completed baseline measures of perfectionism and subsequently reported their nightly affect for seven consecutive days. Participants also listed four important personal goals for the academic year and rated their autonomous and controlled motivation for these goals. The expected pattern of affect variation across the week was obtained—highest positive affect on Saturday followed by a drop on Monday which continued through Thursday. The two forms of perfectionism were significantly related to daily affect on Monday, but in opposite ways, and these opposing patterns were mediated by differences in motivation for academic goals. Self-critical perfectionists felt highly controlled about their academic goals and responded negatively to the resumption of school on Monday. Personal standard perfectionists felt highly autonomous about their academic goals and responded positively to the return to school on Monday. The two forms of perfectionism were unrelated to affect experienced on Saturdays. The study suggests that personality and motivational factors can be used to understand affect variation from the weekend to the start of the week.


Affect Perfectionism Self-criticism Volition Weekend 



This research was supported by grants to Richard Koestner from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and from FQRSC-Quebec. Brenda Harvey was supported by a Masters fellowship from SSHRC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brenda Harvey
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marina Milyavskaya
    • 2
  • Nora Hope
    • 3
  • Theodore A. Powers
    • 4
  • Mark Saffran
    • 3
  • Richard Koestner
    • 3
  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.University of TorontoScarboroughCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.University of Massachusetts at DartmouthDartmouthUSA

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