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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (01) : 65-73     DOI:
Effects of Trait Coping Styles and Emotional Display Rules on Emotional Labor Strategies
LIN Chuan;HUANG Min-Er
(1 Department of Psychology, SUN Yat -Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China)
(2 Guangdong Baiyun University, Guangzhou 510450, China)
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Abstract  Emotional labor is likely to occur when one’s feeling differed from situational demands in service working setting. Two basic emotional labor strategies (e.g., surface acting and deep acting)have been intensely investigated and demonstrated on diverse implications for personnel mental health. Deep acting would activate more cognitive and emotional energy than surface acting so as to have a contribution on better self-authentic feeling and less emotional exhausted. However, literatures demonstrate that emotional display rules have different effects on emotional labor strategies but conclusions are inconsistent. The present study aimed to explore how Trait Coping Styles which reflect the coping aspects of personality in responding to stressful situations interact with Emotional Display Rules from professional & organizational demands and then affect strategies of emotional labor in some degree.
The study was conducted by a 2×3 design experiment. The subjects were selected by Trait Coping Styles Scale (Jiang, 1999) and grouped as Trait Positive Coping Style (n=54) and Trait Negative Coping Style (n=51). Each group was further randomly divided into 3 subgroups, namely positive display rule, negative display rule and control condition (no display rule). Emotional display rules were manipulated by instructions before an emotional work task (a public speech). The experiment arranged a memory task to elicit tense mood before the experiment to facilitate more emotional labor in the speech. Subjective emotional experiences at three points (e.g., before and after the memory task, after the speech) were recorded accordingly. Emotional labor strategies in speech were reported after the speech. MANOVA statistic method was employed to test the effects of the experiment. The results indicated: (1) Comparing to Negative Coping group, Positive Coping group reported stronger deep acting, and less surface acting just under condition of Positive Display Rule. (2) Comparing to control group, Positive and Negative Display Rule Groups reported stronger emotional labor both deep and surface acting. Further more, Positive Coping Group reported less surface acting under Positive rule, and Negative Coping Group reported more surface acting under Positive Rule. (3) Stronger positive emotions in Trait Positive Coping Group and stronger negative emotions in Trait Negative Coping may explain well on the main effect of the Traits and the interacting effects of The Traits and the Rules upon emotional labor strategies.
The study suggests that Trait Positive Coping Style may be considered as an adaptive trait for working in emotional-labor-intense industries setting. Positive display rule fits well with the people of higher in Trait Positive Coping Style and negative display rule fits well with the people of higher in Trait Negative Coping Style. The study may be applied in working of personnel management (e.g., recruitment and psychological training) in emotional-labor- intense industry settings.
Keywords trait coping style      emotional display rule      emotional labor strategy     
Corresponding Authors: HUANG Min-Er   
Issue Date: 30 January 2011
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LIN Chuan,HUANG Min-Er. Effects of Trait Coping Styles and Emotional Display Rules on Emotional Labor Strategies[J]. , 2011, 43(01): 65-73 .
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