Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Major

Psychology

Research Sponsor

Dr. James Diefendorff

First Reader

Dr. David Tokar

Second Reader

Steven Tseng

Abstract

The relationships of nurses’ emotion regulation directed at different targets at work and worker well-being were investigated in the current study. I looked at surface acting and deep acting (i.e., suppressing felt emotions and faking unfelt emotions, or actually attempting to feel the emotions that are shown). Specifically, I analyzed the data to see if surface acting and deep acting is more or less harmful for nurses depending on the interaction target. To do this, I looked at responses to a survey that indicated the degree to which nurses engaged in surface acting and deep acting with various targets as well as their reported levels of burnout, their physical symptoms, as well as turnover intentions. Overall, I found that nurses were significantly more likely to use both regulation strategies with external targets (i.e., those who are external to the workplace) than with internal organizational targets. Burnout was significantly related to both regulation strategies. Deep acting showed select differences between targets. Physical symptoms were significantly related to both regulation strategies. Surface acting with external targets had a significantly stronger relationship with physical symptoms, as did deep acting with different targets. Turnover intentions were significantly related to surface acting. Surface acting with external targets had a significantly weaker relationship with turnover intentions than surface acting with internal targets. Deep acting with fellow nurses had significantly stronger relationships with turnover intentions than the other targets. Significant unique predictors were identified with supplemental analyses.

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