Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Fisher, C.D. 1997, Emotions at Work: What do People Feel and How Should We Measure It?
Presented at the Second Biennial Australian Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference, Melbourne, June 1997.
© Cynthia D. Fisher


Affect at work is of increasing interest to organisational researchers. Prior research on felt affect at work has focused almost exclusively on mood rather than emotion. As yet we have little knowledge about which emotions are felt or how frequently they are felt in the workplace, or of what their causes or consequences might be. There has not even been an instrument available for measuring emotion at work. This paper reports on a preliminary study designed as a lead-in to further research on emotion at work. One hundred and sixteen people reported on the frequency with which they had experienced 135 different emotions while at work. Differences in the emotional experiences of female and male employees, part time and full time workers, and employees in five different job categories are explored. The data on emotion frequency, together with literature on typologies of emotions, are then used to construct a short self report instrument for assessing real-time emotional experiences at work. This instrument is presently being used in experience sampling research on emotion by the author.



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