The State of the Heart: Emotional Labor as Emotion Regulation Reviewed and Revised

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Abstract

Emotional labor has been an area of burgeoning research interest in occupational health psychology in recent years. Emotional labor was conceptualized in the early 1980s by sociologist Arlie Hochschild (1983) as occupational requirements that alienate workers from their emotions. Almost 2 decades later, a model was published in Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (JOHP) that viewed emotional labor through a psychological lens, as emotion regulation strategies that differentially relate to performance and wellbeing. For this anniversary issue of JOHP, we review the emotional labor as emotion regulation model, its contributions, limitations, and the state of the evidence for its propositions. At the heart of our article, we present a revised model of emotional labor as emotion regulation, that incorporates recent findings and represents a multilevel and dynamic nature of emotional labor as emotion regulation.

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