Title page for ETD etd-01102006-141140

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Richard, Erin Michele
Author's Email Address erichard@fit.edu
URN etd-01102006-141140
Title Applying Appraisal Theories of Emotion to the Concept of Emotional Labor
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Amy Copeland Committee Co-Chair
James Diefendorff Committee Co-Chair
Emily Elliott Committee Member
Robert Mathews Committee Member
Tracey Rizzuto Committee Member
Yoshinori Kamo Dean's Representative
  • dramaturgical perspective
  • primary appraisal
  • deep acting
  • surface acting
  • reframing
  • dissonance
  • burnout
  • authenticity
  • customer service
  • experience sampling
  • stress inoculation
Date of Defense 2005-12-16
Availability unrestricted
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.
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