Emotions and moods

emotions and moods in organizational behavior children's emotions and moods developmental theory and measurement
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ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 258 Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. — David Hume Emotions and Moods After reading this chapter, you should be able to: 1 Differentiate emotions from moods. 5 Discuss the impact emotional labor has on employees. 2 Discuss the different aspects of emotions. 6 Discuss the case for and the case against emotional intelligence. 3 Identify the sources of emotions and moods. 7 Apply concepts on emotions and moods to OB issues. 4 Describe external constraints on emotions. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 258ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 259 CHAPTER 8 Emotions Can Be Powerful on the grounds of his flagship hotel and teve Wynn, the famous hotel 1 casino, The Mirage. At the same time, mogul, is an emotional person. while Wynn was in charge of the SHe is known for his infectious Mirage, it was high on Fortune’s enthusiasm, as well as his temper. He once list of America’s Most Admired shot off his index finger in his office. And Companies. when describing his new 2.7 billion hotel, Interestingly, in contrast which he named after himself, he broke to Wynn’s volatile person- into a song from a musical.When have you ality, his new hotel is ever seen a CEO do that? Wynn’s also given meant to appeal to peo- to making outlandish statements. He said ple’s desire for calm- of his new hotel, “This building is more ness. Gone are the complex than any other structure in the exotic public displays, history of the world.” He also once com- such as volcanoes mented, smiling, that “Las Vegas is sort of and caged tigers, that like how God would do it if he had money.” graced his earlier Many regard Wynn as the most power- hotels. He even says ful man in Nevada, largely because he can that he’d get rid of the both inspire and scare people. One politi- casinos if he could. No cian stated, “Steve Wynn’s control over casinos in a Las Vegas politicians is all-encompassing. It’s over- hotel? Could Steve Wynn whelming. Either you work for him or he be bluffing? ■ tries to get you out of office.” Those who know Wynn say his temper can erupt as fiercely as the volcano he put 259ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 260 260 PART TWO The Individual t’s probably safe to assume that most of us are not as given to emotional extremes as Steve Wynn. If we were, could we be as successful as he in our Iprofessions? Given the obvious role that emotions play in our work and everyday lives, it might surprise you to learn that, until recently, the field of OB 2 has given the topic of emotions little or no attention. How could this be? We can offer two possible explanations. 3 The first is the myth of rationality. Since the late nineteenth century and the rise of scientific management, the protocol of the work world has been to keep a damper on emotions. A well-run organization was one that didn’t allow employees to express frustration, fear, anger, love, hate, joy, grief, and similar feelings. The prevailing thought was that such emotions were the antithesis of rationality. Even though researchers and managers knew that emotions were an inseparable part of everyday life, they tried to create organizations that were emotion-free. That, of course, wasn’t possible. The second explanation was the belief that emotions of any kind are dis- 4 ruptive. When researchers considered emotions, they looked at strong, nega- tive emotions—especially anger—that interfered with an employee’s ability to work effectively. They rarely viewed emotions as constructive or able to enhance performance. Certainly some emotions, particularly when exhibited at the wrong time, can reduce employee performance. But this doesn’t change the fact that employees bring their emotional sides with them to work every day and that no study of OB could be comprehensive without considering the role of emotions in workplace behavior. What Are Emotions and Moods? Although we don’t want to obsess over definitions, before we can proceed with our analysis, we need to clarify three terms that are closely intertwined: affect, emotions, and moods. Affect is a generic term that covers a broad range of feelings that people experience. It’s an umbrella concept that encompasses both emotions and 5 Emotions are intense feelings that are directed at someone or some- moods. 6 Moods are feelings that tend to be less intense than emotions and that thing. 7 often (though not always) lack a contextual stimulus. 8 Most experts believe that emotions are more fleeting than moods. For example, if someone is rude to you, you’ll feel angry. That intense feeling of anger probably comes and goes fairly quickly, maybe even in a matter of sec- onds. When you’re in a bad mood, though, you can feel bad for several hours. Emotions are reactions to a person (seeing a friend at work may make you feel glad) or event (dealing with a rude client may make you feel angry). You show your emotions when you’re “happy about something, angry at someone, afraid of 9 Moods, in contrast, aren’t usually directed at a person or event. But something.” emotions can turn into moods when you lose focus on the event or object that started the feeling. And, by the same token, good or bad moods can make you more emotional in response to an event. So when a colleague criticizes how you spoke to a client, you might become angry at him. That is, you show emotion (anger) toward a specific object (your colleague). But as the specific emotion dis- sipates, you might just feel generally dispirited. You can’t attribute this feeling to any single event; you’re just not your normal self. You might then overreact to other events. This affect state describes a mood. Exhibit 8-1 shows the relation- ships among affect, emotions, and mood. First, as the exhibit shows, affect is a broad term that encompasses emotions and moods. Second, there are differences between emotions and moods. SomeROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 261 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 261 Affect, Emotions, and Moods Exhibit 8-1 Affect Defined as a broad range of feelings that people experience. Affect can be experienced in the form of emotions or moods. Emotions Moods  Caused by specific event  Cause is often general and unclear  Very brief in duration (seconds  Last longer than emotions (hours or minutes) or days)  Specific and numerous in nature  More general (two main dimensions— (many specific emotions such as positive affect and negative affect— anger, fear, sadness, happiness, that are comprised of multiple specific disgust, surprise) emotions)  Usually accompanied by distinct  Generally not indicated by distinct facial expressions expressions  Action-oriented in nature  Cognitive in nature of these differences—that emotions are more likely to be caused by a specific event, and emotions are more fleeting than moods—we just discussed. Other differences are subtler. For example, unlike moods, emotions tend to be more clearly revealed with facial expressions (anger, disgust). Also, some researchers speculate that emotions may be more action-oriented—they may lead us to some immediate action—while moods may be more cognitive, meaning they 10 may cause us to think or brood for a while. Finally, the exhibit shows that emotions and moods can mutually influence each other. For example, an emotion, if it’s strong and deep enough, can turn into a mood: Getting your dream job may generate the emotion of joy, but it also can put you in a good mood for several days. Similarly, if you’re in a good or bad mood, it might make you experience a more intense positive or negative emotion than would otherwise be the case. For example, if you’re in a bad mood, you might “blow up” in response to a coworker’s comment when nor- mally it would have just generated a mild reaction. Because emotions and moods can mutually influence each other, there will be many points throughout the chapter where emotions and moods will be closely connected. Although affect, emotions, and moods are separable in theory, in practice the distinction isn’t always crystal clear. In fact, in some areas, researchers have studied mostly moods, and in other areas, mainly emotions. So, when we review the OB topics on emotions and moods, you may see more information on emo- tions in one area and moods in another. This is simply the state of the research. Also, the terminology can be confusing. For example, the two main mood dimensions are positive affect and negative affect, yet we have defined affect more broadly than mood. So, although the topic can be fairly dense in places, hang in there. The material is interesting—and applicable to OB. affect A broad range of feelings that emotions Intense feelings that are moods Feelings that tend to be less people experience. directed at someone or something. intense than emotions and that lack a contextual stimulus.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 262 262 PART TWO The Individual A Basic Set of Emotions How many emotions are there? In what ways do they vary? There are dozens of emotions. They include anger, contempt, enthusiasm, envy, fear, frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, disgust, happiness, hate, hope, jealousy, joy, love, pride, surprise, and sadness. There have been numerous research efforts to limit and define the dozens of emotions into a fundamental or basic set of 11 emotions. But some researchers argue that it makes no sense to think of basic emotions because even emotions we rarely experience, such as shock, can have 12 a powerful effect on us. Other researchers, even philosophers, argue that there are universal emotions common to all of us. René Descartes, often called the founder of modern philosophy, identified six “simple and primitive pas- sions”—wonder, love, hatred, desire, joy, and sadness—and argued that “all the 13 others are composed of some of these six or are species of them.” Other philosophers (Hume, Hobbes, Spinoza) identified categories of emotions. Though these philosophers were helpful, the burden to provide conclusive evi- dence for the existence of a basic set of emotions still rests with contemporary researchers. In contemporary research, psychologists have tried to identify basic emotions 14 by studying facial expressions. One problem with this approach is that some emotions are too complex to be easily represented on our faces. Take love, for 15 example. Many think of love as the most universal of all emotions, yet it’s not easy to express a loving emotion with one’s face only. Also, cultures have norms that govern emotional expression, so how we experience an emotion isn’t always the same as how we show it. And many companies today offer anger-management 16 programs to teach people to contain or even hide their inner feelings. It’s unlikely psychologists or philosophers will ever completely agree on a set of basic emotions, or even whether it makes sense to think of basic emotions. Still, enough researchers have agreed on six essentially universal emotions— anger, fear, sadness, happiness, disgust, and surprise—with most other emo- 17 tions subsumed under one of these six categories. Some researchers even plot these six emotions along a continuum: happiness—surprise—fear—sadness— 18 anger—disgust. The closer any two emotions are to each other on this contin- uum, the more likely it is that people will confuse them. For instance, we some- times mistake happiness for surprise, but rarely do we confuse happiness and disgust. In addition, as we’ll see later on, cultural factors can also influence interpretations. Some Aspects of Emotions There are some other fundamental aspects of emotions that we need to consider. These aspects include the biology of emotions, the intensity of emotions, their frequency and duration, the relationship between rationality and emotions, and the functions of emotions. Let’s deal with each of these aspects in turn. The Biology of Emotions All emotions originate in the brain’s limbic system, 19 which is about the size of a walnut and near our brain stem. People tend to be Joanna Hayes expressed the emotion happiest (report more positive than negative emotions) when their limbic sys- of joy after winning the gold medal tem is relatively inactive. When the limbic system “heats up,” negative emotions in the women’s 100m hurdle during such as anger and guilt dominate over positive ones such as joy and happiness. track and field competition at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Overall, the limbic system provides a lens through which you interpret events. Athens, Greece. Joy is one of the When it’s active, you see things in a negative light. When it’s inactive, you inter- dozens of basic emotions that pret information more positively. originate in our brain’s limbic system Not everyone’s limbic system is the same. Moderately depressed people have to help us interpret events. As a more active limbic systems, particularly when they encounter negative informa- positive emotion, joy expresses a 20 favorable evaluation or feeling. tion. And women tend to have more active limbic systems than men, which,ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 263 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 263 some argue, explains why women are more susceptible to depression than men 21 and are more likely to emotionally bond with children. Of course, as always, these are average differences—women are more likely to be depressed than men, but naturally that doesn’t mean that all depressed people are women, or that men are incapable of bonding with their kids. Intensity People give different responses to identical emotion-provoking stimuli. In some cases, personality is responsible for the difference. Other times, it’s a result of the job requirements. People vary in their inherent ability to express emotional intensity. You may know people who almost never show their feelings. They rarely get angry. They never show rage. In contrast, you probably also know people who seem to be on an emotional roller coaster. When they’re happy, they’re ecstatic. When they’re sad, they’re deeply depressed. We’ll explore the impact personality has on an individual’s emotions in more detail later on in the chapter. Jobs make different demands on our emotions. For instance, air traffic con- trollers, surgeons, and trial judges are expected to be calm and controlled, even in stressful situations. Conversely, the effectiveness of television evangelists, public-address announcers at sporting events, and lawyers can depend on their ability to alter their emotional intensity as the need arises. Frequency and Duration Sean Wolfson is basically a quiet and reserved per- son. He loves his job as a financial planner. He doesn’t enjoy, however, having to give speeches to increase his visibility and to promote his programs. But he still has to give speeches occasionally. “If I had to speak to large audiences every day, I’d quit this business,” he says. “I think this works for me because I can fake excitement and enthusiasm for an hour, a couple of times a month.” Whether an employee can successfully meet the emotional demands of a given job depends not only on what emotions need to be displayed and their intensity but also on how frequently and for how long they need to make the effort. Do Emotions Make Us Irrational? How often have you heard someone say, “Oh, you’re just being emotional”? You might have been offended. The famous astronomer Carl Sagan once wrote, “Where we have strong emotions, we’re liable to fool ourselves.” These observations suggest that rationality and emo- tion are in conflict with one another and that if you exhibit emotion, you are likely to act irrationally. One team of authors argue that displaying emotions like sadness, to the point of crying, is so toxic to a career that we should leave 22 The the room rather than allow others to witness our emotional display. author Lois Frankel advises that women should avoid being emotional at work 23 These perspec- because it will undermine how others rate their competence. tives suggest that the demonstration or even experience of emotions is likely to make us seem weak, brittle, or irrational. However, the research disagrees and is 24 increasingly showing that emotions are actually critical to rational thinking. In fact, there has been evidence of such a link for a long time. Take the example of Phineas Gage. Gage was a railroad worker in Vermont. One September day in 1848, while setting an explosive charge at work, a 3′7″ iron bar flew into Gage’s lower left jaw and out through the top of his skull. Remarkably, Gage survived his injury. He was still able to read and speak, and he performed well above average on cognitive ability tests. However, it became clear that Gage had lost his ability to experience emotion. He was emotionless at even the saddest misfortunes or happiest occasions. Gage’s inability to express emotion eventually took away his ability to reason. He started making irrational choices about his life, often behaving erratically and against his self- interests. Despite being an intelligent man whose intellectual abilities wereROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 264 264 PART TWO The Individual unharmed by the accident, Gage drifted from job to job, eventually taking up with a circus. In commenting on Gage’s condition, one expert noted, “Reason may not be as pure as most of us think it is or wish it were ...emotions and feel- ings may not be intruders in the bastion of reason at all: they may be enmeshed 25 in its networks, for worse and for better.” The example of Phineas Gage and many other brain injury studies, show us that emotions are critical to rational thinking. We must have the ability to expe- rience emotions to be rational. Why? Because our emotions provide important information about how we understand the world around us. Although we might think of a computer as intellectually superior, a human so void of emotion would be unable to function. Think about a manager making a decision to fire an employee. Would you really want the manager to make the decision without regarding either his or the employee’s emotions? The key to good decision making is to employ both thinking and feeling in one’s decisions. What Functions Do Emotions Serve? Why do we have emotions? What role do they serve? We just discussed one function—that we need them to think rationally. Charles Darwin, however, took a broader approach. In The Expression By studying the skull of Phineas of the Emotions in Man and Animals, Darwin argued that emotions developed Gage, shown here, and other brain over time to help humans solve problems. Emotions are useful, he said, because injuries, researchers discovered an important link between emotions they motivate people to engage in actions important for survival—actions such and rational thinking. They found as foraging for food, seeking shelter, choosing mates, guarding against preda- that losing the ability to emote led tors, and predicting others’ behaviors. For example, disgust (an emotion) moti- to the loss of the ability to reason. vates us to avoid dangerous or harmful things (such as rotten foods). From this discovery, researchers Excitement (also an emotion) motivates us to take on situations in which we learned that our emotions provide us with valuable information that require energy and initiative (for example, tackling a new career). helps our thinking process. Drawing from Darwin are researchers who focus on evolutionary psychology. This field of study says we must experience emotions—whether they are positive 26 or negative—because they serve a purpose. For example, you would probably consider jealousy to be a negative emotion. Evolutionary psychologists would argue that it exists in people because it has a useful purpose. Mates may feel jeal- ousy to increase the chance that their genes, rather than a rival’s genes, are 27 passed on to the next generation. Although we tend to think of anger as being “bad,” it actually can help us protect our rights when we feel they’re being vio- lated. For example, a person showing anger when she’s double-crossed by a col- league is serving a warning for others not to repeat the same behavior. Consider another example. Rena Weeks was a secretary at a prominent law firm. Her boss wouldn’t stop touching and grabbing her. His treatment made her angry. So she 28 did more than quit—she sued, and won a multimillion-dollar case. It’s not that anger is always good. But as with all other emotions, it exists because it serves a useful purpose. Positive emotions also serve a purpose. For example, a service employee who feels empathy for a customer may provide better customer service. But some researchers are not firm believers of evolutionary psychology. Why? Think about fear (an emotion). It’s just as easy to think of the harmful effects of fear as it is the beneficial effects. For example, running in fear from a predator increases the likelihood of survival. But what benefit does freezing in fear serve? Evolutionary psychology provides an interesting perspective on the functions of emotions, but it’s hard to know whether or not this perspective is 29 valid all the time. Mood as Positive and Negative Affect 30 One way to classify emotions is by whether they are positive or negative. Positive emotions—like joy and gratitude—express a favorable evaluation or feeling. Negative emotions—like anger or guilt—express the opposite. Keep in 31 mind that emotions can’t be neutral. Being neutral is being nonemotional.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 265 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 265 When we group emotions into positive and negative categories, they become mood states because we are now looking at them more generally instead of isolating one particular emotion. See Exhibit 8-2. In this exhibit, excited is a specific emotion that is a pure marker of high positive affect, while boredom is a pure marker of low positive affect. Similarly, nervous is a pure marker of high negative affect, while relaxed is a pure marker of low negative affect. Finally, some emotions—like contentment (a mixture of high positive affect and low negative affect) or sadness (a mixture of low positive affect and high negative affect)—are in between. You’ll notice that this model does not include all emotions. There are two reasons why. First, we can fit other emo- tions like enthusiasm or depression into the model, but we’re short on space. Second, some emotions, like surprise, don’t fit well because they’re not as clearly positive or negative. So, we can think of positive affect as a mood dimension consisting of posi- tive emotions such as excitement, self-assurance, and cheerfulness at the high end, and boredom, sluggishness, and tiredness at the low end. Negative affect is a mood dimension consisting of nervousness, stress, and anxiety at the high end, and relaxation, tranquility, and poise at the low end. (Note that positive and negative affect are moods. We’re using these labels, rather than positive and negative mood, because that’s how researchers label them.) Positive affect and negative affect play out at work (and beyond work, of course) in that they color our perceptions, and these perceptions can become their own reality. For example, one flight attendant posted an anonymous blog on the Web that said: “I work in a pressurized aluminum tube and the The Structure of Mood Exhibit 8-2 High Positive High Negative Tense Alert Affect Affect Excited Nervous Elated Stressed Happy Upset Content Sad Depressed Serene Bored Relaxed Low Positive Low Negative Fatigued Calm Affect Affect evolutionary psychology An area of positive affect A mood dimension negative affect A mood dimension inquiry that argues that we must consisting of specific positive emotions consisting of nervousness, stress, and experience the emotions that we do like excitement, self-assurance, and anxiety at the high end, and relaxation, because they serve a purpose. cheerfulness at the high end, and tranquility, and poise at the low end. boredom, sluggishness, and tiredness at the low end.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 266 266 PART TWO The Individual environment outside my ‘office’ cannot sustain human life. That being said, the human life inside is not worth sustaining sometimes . . . in fact, the pas- sengers can be jerks, and idiots. I am often treated with no respect, nobody lis- 32 tens to me . . . until I threaten to kick them off the plane ...” Clearly, if a flight attendant is in a bad mood, it’s going to influence his perceptions of passengers, which will influence his behavior in turn. Importantly, negative emotions are more likely to translate into negative moods. People think about events that created strong negative emotions five 33 times as long as they do about events that created strong positive ones. So, we should expect people to recall negative experiences more readily than positive ones. Perhaps one of the reasons is that, for most of us, they’re also more unusual. Indeed research shows that there is a positivity offset, mean- ing that at zero input (when nothing in particular is going on), most individ- 34 uals experience a mildly positive mood. So for most people, positive moods are somewhat more common than negative moods. The positivity offset also appears to operate at work. For example, one study of customer service rep- resentatives in a British call center (probably a job where it’s pretty hard to feel positive) revealed that people reported experiencing positive moods 58 35 percent of the time. Sources of Emotions and Moods Have you ever said to yourself, “I got up on the wrong side of the bed today”? Have you ever snapped at a coworker or family member for no particular rea- son? If you have, it probably makes you wonder where emotions and moods come from. Here, we pick up the discussion of moods again because, even though emotions are thought to be more influenced by events than moods, ironically, researchers have conducted more studies on the sources of moods than on the sources of particular emotions. So, now we’ll turn to the main sources of moods, though a lot of these sources also affect emotions. Personality Do you scream at the TV when your team is losing a big game while your friend seems like she could care less that her team has no chance of winning? Consider another situation. Noel and Jose are coworkers. Noel has a tendency to get angry when a colleague criticizes her ideas during a brain- storming session. Jose, however, is quite calm and relaxed, viewing such criti- cism as an opportunity for improvement. What explains these different reac- tions? Personality predisposes people to experience certain moods and emotions. For example, some people feel guilt and anger more readily than others do. Others may feel calm and relaxed no matter the situation. In other words, moods and emotions have a trait component to them—most people have built-in tendencies to experience certain moods and emotions more fre- quently than others do. Consider Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight. He is infamous for his tirades against players, officials, fans, and the media. Clearly, he is easily moved to experience anger. But take Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who is known for his relatively distant, unemotional, analytical nature. He rarely displays anger. So Bobby Knight and Bill Gates have tendencies to experience a particular mood or emotion. But, as we mentioned earlier, some people are predisposed to experience any emotion more intensely. Such people are high on affect intensity, or “individual differences in the strength with which individuals expe- 36 While most people might feel slightly sad at one rience their emotions.” movie or be mildly amused at another, someone high on affect intensity would cry like a baby at a sad movie and laugh uncontrollably at a comedy. We might describe such people as “emotional” or “intense.” So, emotions differ in theirROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 267 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 267 intensity, but people also differ in how predisposed they are to experience emo- tions intensely. If a person gets really mad at a coworker, he would be experi- encing an emotion intensely. But if that person gets mad, or excited, really eas- ily, then he would be high on the personality trait of affect intensity. Also, positive events are more likely to affect the positive mood and positive emotions of extraverts, and negative events are more likely to influence the neg- 37 ative mood and negative emotions of those scoring low on emotional stability. To illustrate, let’s say there are two friends who work together—Paul and Alex. Paul scores high on extraversion and emotional stability. Alex scores low on both. One day at work, Paul and Alex learn they’re going to earn a commission for a sale their work group made. Later the same day, their boss stops by and yells at them for no apparent reason. In this situation, you’d expect Paul’s posi- tive affect to increase more than Alex’s because Paul is more extraverted and attends more to the good news of the day. Conversely, you’d expect Alex’s neg- ative affect to increase more than Paul’s because Alex scores lower on emo- tional stability and therefore tends to dwell on the negative event that day. Day of the Week and Time of the Day Most people are at work or school Monday through Friday. For most of us, that means the weekend is a time of relaxation and leisure. Does that suggest that people are in their best moods on the weekends? Well, actually, yes. As Exhibit 8-3 shows, people tend to be in Our Moods Are Affected by the Day of the Week Exhibit 8-3 Negative moods are highest on Sundays and Mondays and fall throughout the week High Positive moods are highest Average at the end of the week Low Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Day of the week Positive affect Negative affect Source: D. Watson, Mood and Temperament, New York, Guilford Publications, 2000. positivity offset Tendency of most affect intensity Individual differences in individuals to experience a mildly positive the strength with which individuals mood at zero input (when nothing in experience their emotions. particular is going on). MoodROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 268 268 PART TWO The Individual their worst moods (highest negative affect and lowest positive affect) early in the week and in their best moods (highest positive affect and lowest negative 38 affect) late in the week. What about time of the day? When are you usually in your best mood? Your worst? We often think that people differ, depending on whether they are “morning” or “evening” people. However, the vast majority of us follow a similar pattern. People are generally in lower spirits early in the morning. During the course of the day, our moods tend to improve and then decline in the evening. Exhibit 8-4 shows this pattern. Interestingly, regardless of what time people go to bed at night or get up in the morning, levels of positive affect tend to peak around the halfway point between waking and sleeping. Negative affect, how- 39 ever, shows little fluctuation throughout the day. What does this mean for organizational behavior? Asking someone for a favor, or conveying bad news, is probably not a good idea on Monday morning. Our workplace interactions will probably be more positive from mid-morning onward, and also later in the week. It does seem that people who describe themselves as morning people are 40 more alert early in the morning. However, these morning people experience only slightly better moods (more positive affect) in the morning compared to 41 those who describe themselves as evening people (and vice-versa). Weather When do you think you would be in a better mood? When it’s 70 degrees and sunny or when it’s a gloomy, cold, rainy day? Many people believe their mood is tied to the weather. However, evidence suggests that weather has 8-4 Our Moods Are Affected by the Time of the Day Exhibit Positive mood peaks during the middle part of the day High Average Negative moods show very little variation over the day Low 9:00 AM Noon 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 9:00 PM Midnight Time of day Positive affect Negative affect Source: D. Watson, Mood and Temperament, New York, Guilford Publications, 2000. MoodROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 269 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 269 little effect on mood. One expert concluded, “Contrary to the prevailing cul- tural view, these data indicate that people do not report a better mood on 42 bright and sunny days (or, conversely, a worse mood on dark and rainy days).” Illusory correlation explains why people tend to think that nice weather improves their mood. Illusory correlation occurs when people associate two events but in reality there is no connection. For example, over time, there has been a positive correlation between the length of women’s skirts and the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock market price. When the length goes up in the fashion world, so does the S&P 500. Does this mean that if we could convince women to shorten their skirts, it would cause a stock market boom? Of course not. There are all sorts of correlations that aren’t causal (another example—the salaries of Presbyterian ministers in Massachusetts and the price of rum in Havana). People often associate things as causal when in fact there’s no true relationship. That appears to be the case with weather and moods. Stress As you might imagine, stress affects emotions and moods. For exam- ple, students have higher levels of fear before an exam, but their fear dissi- 43 pates once the exam is over. At work, stressful daily events (a nasty email, an impending deadline, the loss of a big sale, being reprimanded by your boss, and so on) negatively affect employees’ moods. Also, the effects of stress build over time. As the authors of one study note, “a constant diet of even low-level stressful events has the potential to cause workers to experi- 44 ence gradually increasing levels of strain over time.” Such mounting levels of stress and strain at work can worsen our moods, and we experience more negative emotions. Consider the following entry from a worker’s blog: “i’m in a bit of a blah mood today . . . physically, i feel funky, though and the weather out combined with the amount of personal and work i need to get done are getting to me.” Although sometimes we thrive on stress, for most of 45 us, like this blogger, stress begins to take its toll on our mood. Social Activities Do you tend to be happiest when you are at a barbeque with friends or out to dinner to celebrate a family member’s birthday? For most peo- ple, social activities increase positive mood and have little effect on negative mood. But do people in positive moods seek out social interactions, or do social 46 interactions cause people to be in good moods? It seems that both are true. And, does the type of social activity matter? Indeed it does. Research suggests that physical (skiing or hiking with friends), informal (going to a party), or Epicurean (eating with others) activities are more strongly associated with increases in positive mood than formal (attending a meeting) or sedentary 47 (watching TV with friends) events. Social interactions even have long-term health benefits. One study of longevity found that being in the company of others (as opposed to social isola- tion) was one of the best predictors of how long someone lives—more impor- 48 tant than gender, or even blood pressure or cholesterol levels. One of the rea- sons for this is positive affect. A study of nuns 75–95 years old showed that the degree to which the nuns experienced positive moods in their 20s predicted 49 how long they lived six decades later. illusory correlation The tendency of people to associate two events when in reality there is no connection.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 270 270 PART TWO The Individual Does Sharing Good News Affect Our Mood? hen good things hapen to you, do you immediately call a Peoples’ responses to an individual’s good news are also impor- friend or run over to your coworker’s office to share the joy? tant. Only when others reacted with genuine enthusiasm (as opposed W If this isn’t your style, you might reconsider. A study shows to indifference or feigned happiness) did sharing make people hap- that those who sought out others when good things happened to them pier. So happiness is not just the result of sharing joy, rather, it is also were consistently happier than those who did not share their good a result of sharing good news with the right people. news. Additionally, this “capitalizing” effect held irrespective of the But how does capitalizing on positive events affect an individual’s events themselves, meaning that if two people both had positive things job satisfaction? Sharing news about a promotion, a new hire, or a happen to them, the happier person would be the one who shared the closed sale—contributed to positive moods at work and satisfaction good news. The study ruled out alternative explanations for these find- with one’s work. Again, the type of response mattered—that is, ings. For example, personality did not play a role, given that the results employees were happiest when they shared positive events with oth- were not due to high levels of extraversion in the study’s participants. ers who were truly happy for them. ■ Sleep According to a recent poll, people are getting less and less sleep. On To keep employees in shape and in average, Americans sleep less than seven hours per weekday night—below touch with coworkers, Ford Motor the eight-hour recommendation. And the number of people who actually Company provides fitness centers sleep eight or more hours a night has steadily decreased over the past few and fitness challenges for employees. Ford believes that years to about one in four. Roughly 75 percent of those polled reported hav- exercise increases positive moods, ing at least one symptom of a sleep problem a few nights a week or more resulting in happier, healthier, and 50 within the past year. more productive employees. The As you might imagine, sleep quality affects mood. Undergraduates and company also sponsors recreational adult workers who are sleep-deprived report greater feelings of fatigue, clubs for activities such as bowling, 51 racquetball, skiing, and softball that anger, and hostility. One of the reasons why less sleep, or poor sleep qual- allow employees to get a good ity, puts people in a bad mood is because it impairs decision making and physical workout while interacting 52 makes it difficult to control emotions. A recent study suggests that poor socially with other employees. sleep the previous night also impairs people’s job satisfaction the next day, Shown here is an employee with 53 mostly because people feel fatigued, irritable, and less alert. Ford’s fitness director at an assembly plant in Hazelwood, Missouri. Exercise You often hear that people should exercise to improve their mood. But does “sweat therapy” really work? It appears so. Research consistently shows 54 that exercise enhances people’s positive mood. It appears that the therapeutic effects of exercise are strongest for those who are depressed. Although the effects of exercise on moods are consistent, they are not terribly strong. So, exercise may help put you in a better mood, but don’t expect miracles. Age Do you think that young people experience more extreme, positive emo- tions (so-called “youthful exuberance”) than older people do? If you answered yes, you were wrong. One study of people aged 18 to 94 years revealed negative emotions seem to occur less as people get older. Periods of highly positive 55 moods lasted longer for older individuals and bad moods faded more quickly. The study implies that emotional experience tends to improve with age so that as we get older, we experience fewer negative emotions. Gender The common belief is that women are more in touch with their feel- ings than men are—that they react more emotionally and are better able to read emotions in others. Is there any truth to these assumptions? The evidence does confirm differences between men and women when it comes to emotional reactions and the ability to read others. In contrastingROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 271 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 271 56 the genders, women show greater emotional expression than men; they experience emotions more intensely; and they display more frequent expres- 57 sions of both positive and negative emotions, except anger. In contrast to men, women also report more comfort in expressing emotions. Finally, women are better at reading nonverbal and paralinguistic cues than are 58 men. What explains these differences? Researchers have suggested three possible explanations. One explanation is the different ways men and women have been 59 socialized. Men are taught to be tough and brave. Showing emotion is incon- sistent with this image. Women, in contrast, are socialized to be nurturing. This may account for the perception that women are generally warmer and friend- lier than men. For instance, women are expected to express more positive emo- 60 tions on the job (shown by smiling) than men, and they do. A second expla- nation is that women may have more innate ability to read others and present 61 their emotions than do men. Third, women may have a greater need for social approval and, so, a higher propensity to show positive emotions, such as happiness. External Constraints on Emotions An emotion that is acceptable on the athletic playing field may be totally unac- ceptable when exhibited at the workplace. Similarly, what’s appropriate in one country is often inappropriate in another. These two factors play a role in deter- mining what emotions we’ll display. Every organization defines boundaries that identify which emotions are acceptable and the degree to which employees may express them. Cultures set boundaries, too. In this section, we look at organiza- tional and cultural influences on emotions. Organizational Influences If you can’t smile and appear happy, you’re unlikely to have much of a career working at a Disney amusement park. And a manual produced by McDonald’s states that its counter personnel “must display traits such as sincerity, enthusiasm, confidence, and a sense of 62 humor.” There is no single emotional “set” that all organizations worldwide When it comes to expressing positive emotions, Southwest Airlines imposes few external constraints on employee behavior. It encourages employees to be passionate about their work and gives them freedom in expressing their passion. Southwest’s emotional “set” of appropriate behaviors among employees includes caring, nurturing, and fun loving. Displaying these emotions on the job delight Southwest’s passengers, as the flight attendant shown here readies to embrace a tiny traveler.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 272 272 PART TWO The Individual seek in their employees. However, in the United States, the evidence indi- cates that there’s a bias against negative and intense emotions. Expressions of negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger tend to be unacceptable 63 except under fairly specific conditions. For instance, one such condition might be a high-status member of a group conveying impatience with a low- 64 status member. Moreover, expressions of intense emotion, whether nega- tive or positive, tend to be unacceptable because management regards them 65 as undermining routine task performance. Again, there are instances when such expressions are acceptable—for example, a brief grieving over the sud- den death of a company’s CEO or the celebration of a record year of profits. But for the most part, the climate in well-managed American organizations is one that strives to be emotion-free. Cultural Influences Does the degree to which people experience emotions vary across cultures? Do people’s interpretations of emotions vary across cultures? Finally, do the norms for the expression of emotions differ across cultures? Let’s tackle each of these questions. Does the degree to which people experience emotions vary across cultures? Yes. In China, for example, people report that they experience fewer positive and neg- ative emotions than those in other cultures, and whatever emotions they do experience are less intense than what other cultures report. Compared to Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese are more like Americans in their experience of emotions: On average Taiwanese report more positive and fewer negative emo- 66 tions than their Chinese counterparts. In general, people in most cultures appear to experience certain positive and negative emotions, but the frequency 67 of their experience and their intensity does vary to some degree. Do people’s interpretations of emotions vary across cultures? In general, people from all over the world interpret negative and positive emotions the same way. We all view negative emotions, such as hate, terror, and rage, as dangerous and destruc- tive. And we all desire positive emotions—such as joy, love, and happiness. However, some cultures value certain emotions more than others. For example, Americans value enthusiasm while Chinese consider negative emotions to be In expanding their stores to other countries, Wal-Mart has learned that cultural norms govern emotional expression. The Chinese people, for example, are accustomed to vendors hawking their goods in street markets. When Wal-Mart employees in China shout out special prices for products, customers view the emotional expressions in a positive way as showing excitement and enthusiasm. But these expressions would not be acceptable in countries like Sweden where people place a low value on assertiveness.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 273 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 273 Emotional Recognition: Universal or Culture-Specific? EARLY RESEARCHERS STUDYING HOW WE UNDER- stand emotions based on others’ expressions believed that all individuals, regardless of their culture, could recognize the same emotion. So, for exam- ple, a frown would be recognized as indicating the emotion of sadness, no matter where one was from. However, more recent research suggests that this universal approach to the study of emotions is incorrect because there are subtle differences in the degree to which we can tell what emotions people from different cultures are feeling based on their facial expressions. One study examined how quickly and accurately we can read the facial expressions of people of different cultural backgrounds. Although individuals were at first faster at rec- ognizing the emotional expression of others from their own culture, when living in a dif- ferent culture, the speed and accuracy at which they recognized others’ emotions increased as they became more familiar with the culture. For example, as Chinese resid- ing in the United States adapted to their surroundings they were able to recognize the emotions of U.S. citizens more quickly. In fact, foreigners are sometimes better at recog- nizing emotions among the citizens in their non-native country than are those citizens themselves. Interestingly, these effects begin to occur relatively quickly. For example, Chinese stu- dents living in the United States for an average of 2.4 years were better at recognizing the facial expressions of U.S. citizens than the facial expressions of Chinese citizens. Why is this the case? According to the authors of the study, it could be that they, limited in speak- ing the language, rely more on nonverbal communication. What is the upshot for OB? When conducting business in a foreign country, the ability to correctly recognize others’ emotions can facilitate interactions and lead to less miscommunication. Otherwise, a slight smile that is intended to communicate disinterest may be mistaken for happiness. Based on H. A. Elfenbein and N. Ambady, “When Familiarity Breeds Accuracy: Cultural Exposure and Facial Emotion Recognition,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,August 2003, pp. 276–290. more useful and constructive than do Americans. In general, pride is seen as a positive emotion in Western, individualistic cultures such as the United States, 68 but Eastern cultures such as China and Japan tend to view pride as undesirable. Do the norms for the expression of emotions differ across cultures? Absolutely. For example, Muslims see smiling as a sign of sexual attraction, so women have 69 learned not to smile at men. And research has shown that in collectivist coun- tries people are more likely to believe that emotional displays have something to do with their own relationship with the person expressing the emotion, while people in individualistic cultures do not think that another’s emotional expres- 70 sions are directed at them. For example, in Venezuela (a highly collectivistic culture), someone seeing an angry expression on a friend’s face would think that the friend is mad at her, but in America (a very individualistic culture), a person would generally not attribute an angry friend’s expression to something she had done. Such norms play a role in emotional labor, which we’ll learn about in the next section. In general, it’s easier for people to accurately recognize emotions within their own culture than in those of other cultures. For example, a Chinese busi- nessperson is more likely to accurately label the emotions underlying the facial 71 expressions of a fellow Chinese colleague than those of an American colleague.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 274 274 PART TWO The Individual Interestingly, some cultures lack words for standard American emotional terms such as anxiety, depression, and guilt. Tahitians, as a case in point, don’t have a word directly equivalent to sadness. When Tahitians are sad, their peers 72 attribute their state to a physical illness. Our discussion illustrates the need to consider cultural factors as influencing what managers consider emotionally 73 appropriate. What’s acceptable in one culture may seem extremely unusual or even dysfunctional in another. Managers need to know the emotional norms in each culture they do business in so they don’t send unintended signals or misread the reactions of locals. For example, an American manager in Japan should know that while Americans tend to view smiling positively, Japanese are 74 apt to attribute frequent smiling to a lack of intelligence. Emotional Labor If you ever had a job working in retail sales or waiting on tables in a restaurant, you know the importance of projecting a friendly demeanor and a smile. Even though there were days when you didn’t feel cheerful, you knew management expected you to be upbeat when dealing with customers. So you faked it, and in so doing, you expressed emotional labor. Every employee expends physical and mental labor when they put their bod- ies and cognitive capabilities, respectively, into their job. But jobs also require emotional labor. Emotional labor is an employee’s expression of organization- 75 ally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions at work. The concept of emotional labor emerged from studies of service jobs. Think about it. Airlines expect their flight attendants, for instance, to be cheerful, we expect funeral directors to be sad, and doctors to be emotionally neutral. But really, emotional labor is relevant to almost every job. Your managers expect you, for example, to be courteous, not hostile, in interactions with coworkers. The true challenge is when employees have to project one emotion while simul- 76 taneously feeling another. This disparity is emotional dissonance, and it can take a heavy toll on employees. Left untreated, bottled-up feelings of frustra- tion, anger, and resentment can eventually lead to emotional exhaustion and 77 burnout. It’s from the increasing importance of emotional labor as a key com- ponent of effective job performance that an understanding of emotion has gained heightened relevance within the field of OB. Felt Versus Displayed Emotions Emotional labor creates dilemmas for employees. There are people with whom you have to work that you just plain don’t like. Maybe you consider their per- sonality abrasive. Maybe you know they’ve said negative things about you behind your back. Regardless, your job requires you to interact with these peo- ple on a regular basis. So you’re forced to feign friendliness. It can help you, on the job especially, if you separate emotions into felt or 78 displayed. Felt emotions are an individual’s actual emotions. In contrast, displayed emotions are those that the organization requires workers to show and considers appropriate in a given job. They’re not innate; they’re learned. “The ritual look of delight on the face of the first runner-up as the new Miss America is announced is a product of the display rule that losers should mask 79 their sadness with an expression of joy for the winner.” Similarly, most of us know that we’re expected to act sad at funerals regardless of whether we con- sider the person’s death to be a loss and to pretend to be happy at weddings 80 even if we don’t feel like celebrating.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 275 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 275 Effective managers have learned to be serious when giving an employee a negative performance evaluation and to hide their anger when they’ve been passed over for promotion. And the salesperson who hasn’t learned to smile and appear friendly, regardless of his true feelings at the moment, isn’t typically going to last long on most sales jobs. How we experience an emotion isn’t always 81 the same as how we show it. The key point here is that felt and displayed emotions are often different. Many people have problems working with others because they naïvely assume that the emotions they see others display is what those others actually feel. This is par- ticularly true in organizations, where role demands and situations often require people to exhibit emotional behaviors that mask their true feelings. In addition, jobs today increasingly require employees to interact with customers. And cus- tomers aren’t always easy to deal with. They often complain, behave rudely, and make unrealistic demands. In such instances, an employee’s felt emotions may need to be disguised. Employees who aren’t able to project a friendly and helpful demeanor in such situations are likely to alienate customers and are unlikely to be effective in their jobs. Yet another point is that displaying fake emotions requires us to suppress the emotions we really feel (not showing anger toward a customer, for exam- ple). In other words, the individual has to “act” to keep her job. Surface acting is hiding one’s inner feelings and forging emotional expressions in response to display rules. For example, when a worker smiles at a customer even when he doesn’t feel like it, he is surface acting. Deep acting is trying to modify one’s true inner feelings based on display rules. A health-care provider trying to gen- 82 uinely feel more empathy for her patients is deep acting. Surface acting deals with one’s displayed emotions, and deep acting deals with one’s felt emotions. Research shows that surface acting is more stressful to employees because it 83 entails feigning one’s true emotions. As we’ve noted, emotional norms vary across cultures. Cultural norms in the United States dictate that employees in service organizations should smile and 84 act friendly when interacting with customers. But this norm doesn’t apply worldwide. In Israel, customers see smiling supermarket cashiers as inexperi- 85 enced, so managers encourage cashiers to look somber. Employees in France are likely to experience a minimal degree of emotional dissonance because they make little effort to hide their true feelings. French retail clerks are infa- mous for being surly toward customers. (A report from the French government 86 itself confirmed this). And Wal-Mart has found that its emphasis on employee friendliness, which has won them a loyal following among U.S. shoppers, does- n’t work in Germany. Accustomed to a culture where the customer traditionally comes last, serious German shoppers have been turned off by Wal-Mart’s 87 friendly greeters and helpful personnel. And what about gender differences? Do you think society expects women to display different emotions than men, even in the same job? This is a diffi- cult question to answer, but there is some evidence that upper management does expect men and women to display different emotions even in the same emotional labor A situation in which an felt emotions An individual’s actual surface acting Hiding one’s inner employee expresses organizationally emotions. feelings and forging emotional desired emotions during interpersonal expressions in response to display rules. displayed emotions Emotions that are transactions at work. organizationally required and considered deep acting Trying to modify one’s true emotional dissonance Inconsistencies appropriate in a given job. inner feelings based on display rules. between the emotions we feel and the emotions we project.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 276 276 PART TWO The Individual job. In professional and managerial jobs, for example, women report having to suppress negative feelings and display more positive feelings than men to 88 conform to what they say their bosses and colleagues expect. Are Emotionally Demanding Jobs Rewarded with Better Pay? You may wonder how well the labor market rewards jobs that are emotionally demanding. You might think, for example, that the job of funeral director, which may include mortician duties and arranging funerals with grieving fami- lies, should pay well. But it seems that jobs that are emotionally demanding (jobs that are taxing or require an employee to “put on a good face”) may be rewarded less well than jobs that are cognitively demanding (ones that require a lot of thinking and that demand a complex set of skills). 89 A recent study examined this issue across a wide range of jobs. The authors of the study found that the relationship between cognitive demands and pay was quite strong, while the relationship between emotional demands and pay was not. They did find that emotional demands matter, but only when jobs already were cognitively demanding—jobs such as lawyers and nurses. But, for instance, child-care workers and waiters (jobs with high emo- tional demands but relatively low cognitive demands), receive little compen- sation for emotional demands. Exhibit 8-5 shows the relationship between cognitive and emotional demands and pay. For jobs that are cognitively demanding, increasing emo- tional demands lead to better pay. However, for jobs that are not cognitively demanding, increasing emotional demands lead to worse pay. The model does- n’t seem to depict a fair state of affairs. After all, why should emotional demands be rewarded in only cognitively complex jobs? One explanation may be that it’s hard to find qualified people who are willing and able to work in such jobs. 8-5 Relationship of Pay to Cognitive and Emotional Demands of Jobs Exhibit 21 19.26 Physicists 19 Astronomers Managers Statisticians 17 Lawyers Registered nurses 15 15.57 13 11 9.93 Cashiers 9 Refuse handlers Bill collectors Roofers Child-care workers 7 Data-entry keyers 5.57 5 Low High Emotional labor demands Low cognitive demand High cognitive demand Source: Based on: T. M. Glomb, J. D. Kammeyer-Mueller, and M. Rotundo, “Emotional Labor Demands and Compensating Wage Differentials,” Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 89(4), Aug 2004, pp. 700–714.ROBBMC08.QXD.0132431521 12/15/05 12:25 PM Page 277 CHAPTER 8 Emotions and Moods 277 Affective Events Theory As we have seen, emotions and moods are an important part of our lives, espe- cially our work lives. But how do our emotions and moods influence our job performance and satisfaction? A model called affective events theory (AET) has 90 increased our understanding of the links. AET demonstrates that employees react emotionally to things that happen to them at work and that this reaction influences their job performance and satisfaction. Exhibit 8-6 summarizes AET. The theory begins by recognizing that emo- tions are a response to an event in the work environment. The work environ- ment includes everything surrounding the job—the variety of tasks and degree of autonomy, job demands, and requirements for expressing emotional labor. This environment creates work events that can be hassles, uplifts, or both. Examples of hassles are colleagues who refuse to carry their share of work, con- flicting directions by different managers, and excessive time pressures. Examples of uplifting events include meeting a goal, getting support from a col- 91 league, and receiving recognition for an accomplishment. These work events trigger positive or negative emotional reactions. But employees’ personalities and moods predisposes them to respond with greater or lesser intensity to the event. For instance, people who score low on emo- tional stability are more likely to react strongly to negative events. And their mood introduces the reality that their general affect cycle creates fluctuations. So a person’s emotional response to a given event can change depending on mood. Finally, emotions influence a number of performance and satisfaction variables such as organizational citizenship behavior, organizational commit- ment, level of effort, intentions to quit, and workplace deviance. Exhibit 8-6 Affective Events Theory Work Environment  Characteristics of the job  Job demands  Requirements for emotional labor Job Satisfaction Work Events Emotional Reactions  Daily hassles  Positive  Daily uplifts  Negative Job Performance Personal Dispositions  Personality  Mood Source: Based on N. M. Ashkanasy and C. S. Daus, “Emotion in the Workplace: The New Challenge for Managers,” Academy of Management Executive, February 2002, p. 77. affective events theory A model which suggests that workplace events cause emotional reactions on the part of employees, which then influence workplace attitudes and behaviors.