Emotions and Individual Behavior

Cite this article as:"Emotions and Individual Behavior," in The Business Professor, updated July 15, 2020, last accessed August 8, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/emotions-and-individual-behavior/.

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What Are Emotions?

An emotion is an intense feeling. The feeling is generally temporary in nature and brought on by an internal or external stimulus. Emotions affect an individual’s ability to receive and cognitively process the information, as well as how s/he reacts to the information. Importantly, emotion affects behavior.

What is the Affective Events Theory?

Researchers Howard Weiss and Russell Cropanzano proposed that events cause different types of individuals to experience different types of emotions in the work environment. They identified six major categories of emotion in the workplace: anger, fear, joy, love, sadness, and surprise. The presence of each of these emotions in a person can inspire actions in the individual that affect others positively or negatively. The AET model also identifies job satisfaction as resulting from personality, emotions, beliefs, and events that otherwise drive behaviors. Job dissatisfaction results from the impact of negative emotions.

What is Emotional Labor?

Emotional labor is an individual’s efforts to regulate his/her f feelings and expressions to meet organizational needs or expectations. There are three commonly recognized levels of emotional labor:

  • Surface acting – These are superficial physical signs.
  • Deep acting – This is actively attempting to experience the emotion being displayed.
  • Genuine acting – This is displaying real emotions that the individual is feeling.

Cognitive dissonance concerns the mismatch between emotions, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence concerns the extent to which an individual recognizes and understands their own emotions and the emotions of others. There are four pillars in developing emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness – The ability to accurately perceive, evaluate, and display appropriate emotions.
  • Self-management – The ability to control and direct emotions when necessary.
  • Social awareness – Understanding how others feel.
  • Relationship management – The ability to establish supportive relationships in which you help others understand and manage their emotions.

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