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Description: Ok, at work or any formal group setting (a class, a club, a team, etc.) how do you manage your emotions and your expression of your emotions as they arise? Do you let them show and express them? Do you cover or hide them and ‘show’ and even calm exterior or one that is aligned with what you think is the ‘right’ way to respond? Thinking of what you typically do think a bit more about how that works, or will work, for you in long run. Specifically, what might the consequences be of faking a positive attitude when you do not really have such an attitude inside? The colloquial phrase for this is ‘fake it until you make it.’ Think a bit about how that might work out for you (or for whoever uses it, in the  long run and then read the Article linked below to see what recent research suggests about such work practices.

Source: Faking Your Emotions at Work Could Take a Heavy Toll, Christopher Bergland, The Athlete’s Way, Psychology Today Canada.

Date: January 19, 2020

Photo Credit:  clikpartsworld

Article Link:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-athletes-way/202001/faking-your-emotions-work-could-take-heavy-toll

So, are you a surface actor, a deep actor, a regulator or a non-actor at work or in formal social groups? Have you noted any of the specific consequences of your approach suggested by the research discussed in the linked article? The implications of the various emotional expression strategies suggested by the research discussed in the, linked article tie in to the related areas of emotional intelligence and emotional self-regulation, both of which have deep, early developmental roots but which are also areas with many opportunities for conscious focus, strategy development and greater self and social knowledge when approached from the advanced self-reflective advantage point of late adolescence and thought emerging adulthood. They are worth looking into as they can provide big payoffs in terms of development, wellbeing, mental health, and general success. Sound like a lot, well look into it and see what you can find.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are the different types of social-emotional acting described in the linked article?
  2. What are the potential short- and long-term consequences of each of the types of social-emotional acting that are part of an answer to the previous question?
  3. The research described in the linked article was largely cross-sectional. What sorts of studies would need to be done if we are interested in verifying and expanding the researchers’ claims and in also better understanding the developmental roots of the acting styles they describe?

References (Read Further):

Gabriel, A. S., Koopman, J., Rosen, C. C., Arnold, J. D., & Hochwarter, W. A. (2019). Are coworkers getting into the act? An examination of emotion regulation in coworker exchanges. The Journal of applied psychology.

Grandey, A. A. (2003). When “the show must go on”: Surface acting and deep acting as determinants of emotional exhaustion and peer-rated service delivery. Academy of management Journal, 46(1), 86-96. http://php.scripts.psu.edu/users/a/a/aag6/alicia%20amj.pdf

Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., DeChurch, L. A., & Wax, A. (2012). Moving emotional labor beyond surface and deep acting: A discordance–congruence perspective. Organizational Psychology Review, 2(1), 6-53. https://atlas.soc.northwestern.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/mesmer-magnus-emotional-states.pdf

Yoo, J., & Arnold, T. J. (2016). Frontline employee customer-oriented attitude in the presence of job demands and resources: the influence upon deep and surface acting. Journal of Service Research, 19(1), 102-117. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Xin_An_Zhang/publication/273343844_Rising_to_the_Challenge_Deep_Acting_is_More_Beneficial_When_Tasks_are_Appraised_as_Challenging/links/54fef9240cf2672e2240e4ff.pdf

Deng, H., Walter, F., Lam, C. K., & Zhao, H. H. (2014). Emotional Labor Interactions and Coworker Harming: A Self-Regulatory Depletion Perspective. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2014, No. 1, p. 12423). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management. https://journals.aom.org/doi/pdf/10.5465/ambpp.2014.73

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