Identifier

etd-01102006-141140

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Interest in the role of emotions in the workplace has increased in recent years (e.g., Arvey, Renz, & Watson, 1998; Ashkanasy, Hartel, & Daus, 2002; Fisher & Ashkanasy, 2000; Muchinsky, 2000). One particular area of workplace emotions research deals with emotional labor, or the regulation of emotions as part of the work role (Hochschild, 1983). Although emotional labor research has examined the ways that individuals can regulate their emotions, this research typically is not grounded in theories of the emotion generation process (Ashton-James and Ashkanasy, 2004) and does not examine the causal effects of emotion regulation strategies on outcomes. The present study applies appraisal theories of emotion (Lazarus, 2001; Scherer, 2001; Smith & Pope, 1992; Smith, Haynes, Lazarus, & Pope, 1993) to the literature on emotional labor by designing a training intervention that teaches employees to change their felt emotions to match organizationally-desired emotions by reappraising work situations in a more positive light. Appraisal theories of emotion state that emotions are generated by evaluations of situations or events. The purpose of the present study was to increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotions in customer service employees by teaching them to appraise workplace events differently. Measures of dependent variables were taken for one week (five shifts) before the training and one week (five shifts) after the training. Additionally, a control group was included who received only general customer service training. The reappraisal training produced an increase in high pleasure, low arousal emotions compared to the control training. The reappraisal training also decreased feelings of inauthenticity and depersonalization compared to the control training in one subsample.

Date

2006

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Amy Copeland

Included in

Psychology Commons

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