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Faking emotions at work does more harm than good

emotions

New York: The idea that someone can fake a positive attitude to elicit real-life benefits – often backfires when used with co-workers, a new study suggests. Instead, making an effort to actually feel the emotions you display is more productive, according to research.

For the findings, the research team analyzed two types of emotion regulation that people use at work: surface acting and deep acting. Surface acting is faking what you’re displaying to other people. Inside, you may be upset or frustrated, but on the outside, you’re trying your best to be pleasant or positive.

According to the researchers, when it comes to regulating emotions with co-workers, four types of people emerged from the study: Nonactors, or those engaging in negligible levels of surface and deep acting; Low actors, or those displaying slightly higher surface and deep acting; Deep actors, or those who exhibited the highest levels of deep acting and low levels of surface acting; and, Regulators, or those who displayed high levels of surface and deep acting.

In each study, nonactors made up the smallest group, with the other three groups being similar in size. The researchers identified several drivers for engaging in emotion regulation and sorted them into two categories: prosocial and impression management.  (IANS)

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