Gender Differences In Emotional Labor
Fay, Cara L.
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This study examined the differences in emotional labor efforts between men and women. Emotional labor refers to the incongruity between experienced emotions and displayed emotions. This "faking" or "acting" that takes place during emotional labor has been found to be correlated with negative work-related outcomes such as job satisfaction, burnout, turnover intentions, and decreased work performance. These outcomes can cost organizations millions of dollars in terms of lost revenue, innovation, and employee-related expenses. Likewise, these outcomes can cost individuals greatly in terms of physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The study sought to experimentally examine how emotional labor differs by gender. It was expected that typically feminine emotional displays would require more emotional labor effort than typically masculine emotional displays - across both male and female participants. This was tested using four conditions: optimistic display condition, flat display condition, sympathetic display condition, and control condition. It was expected that more emotional labor would be exerted in the optimistic, flat, and sympathetic display conditions than the control. Additionally, interactions between conditions, gender, and gender identity were expected.