Emotions at Work: Theory, Research, and Applications in Management

By Roy L. Payne; Cary L. Cooper | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Emotion, mood,
and temperament: similarities,
differences, and a synthesis

Elizabeth K. Gray and David Watson

Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA

Emotions, moods, and temperaments clearly play important roles in our daily lives. They are crucial to our interpersonal relationships, our careers, our selves, and our interactions with the environment. Not surprisingly, therefore, these concepts are quite familiar to most psychologists and, indeed, to most people. Nevertheless, most people—and even most psychologists—actually would find it quite difficult to define them precisely and to distinguish them from one another. These concepts obviously overlap substantially, in that they all can be linked to subjectively experienced feelings, but what exactly are they, and how do they differ from another? Moreover, what implications do they have for understanding the everyday experience of people in important contexts, such as the workplace? The basic goal of this chapter is to clarify the nature of these familiar, but somewhat fuzzy, concepts. In it, we will provide a scientific analysis of these concepts and detail their importance for psychological research and for understanding daily experience. We will discuss each of these concepts in turn, relate them to each other, and then examine the interrelation among all three. We conclude by offering an overall framework to guide research and assessment in this area.

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