Psychology And Biology Of Emotion – A Discussion


Discuss about the Psychology and Biology of Emotion.

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Human beings are unique and different from other animals because they are blessed with three natural gifts. They are speech, brain and mind. Human mind has always remained an interesting area of behavioral science from research perspective. This is because it is the source of emotions. Emotions monitor and control the behavior of an individual. Finally group behavior defines organizational behavior. Hence, dealing with emotions has a great deal of contribution as they affect on the performance directly or indirectly. Various renowned psychologists have contributed and introduced theories, models and framework in understanding the significance of emotions both in personal and professional life as well. One of them is ‘Affective Events Theory (AET).’ The model of affective events theory emphasizes on linking emotions and the level of job satisfaction, dealing with employee behavior at workplace. It is interesting to study the correlation between the world of emotions and the work.

Affective Events Theory throws light on job satisfaction. First of all, it is essential to define ‘job satisfaction’ in simple words. Three different approaches provide in-depth insight on job satisfaction. They are “Cognitive Judgment Approach, the Social Influence Approach and Dispositional Approach” (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996). Belief system coined with affective experiences can be called as ‘job satisfaction’. In this context, the formation of an attitude plays vital role leading to perception. There exists the relationship between productivity and emotions (Hersey, 1932). It should be noted that there is significant difference between emotions and moods. Emotions are the mental states which direct an object whereas moods lack an object (Frijda, 1993 & Morris, 1989).A model of affective events theory is based on several variables. The below diagram will help to understand the correlation with each other.

Another notable observation is “emotions gives birth to various events.” Here, an event is nothing but ‘a process of happening something’ and which affects positively or negatively. It is noteworthy to correlate this concept with ‘Cause and Effect theory’. It asserts that when there is a smoke, then there is a fire. There cannot be fire with smoke. Here, ‘smoke’ is the source of ‘fire’. The event of fire generates various emotions in the mind. The symptoms of any behavior take birth in the mind through emotions and then they are reflected actually in the form of behavior.    

Nowadays, many corporate firms have ‘emotional literacy’ as an agenda for their employees. This is because a person working with assertiveness can create healthy competition and build good rapport with the team. It also enables him / her to strengthen the relationship on long-term basis beyond official boundaries. Work-life balance is feasible for such individuals. It gives great job satisfaction and motivates for other too. Internal and external conflicts can be resolved with mutual understanding and respect for each others. Here, a leader is in the position of ‘CONMAN’ i.e. Conflict Manager.  

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Effective Events Theory is highly effective to handle the customer complaints. It appeals the staff members to put themselves in customers’ shoes. As a result, they can understand the real pains of customers by and large and provide end-to-end solutions. It is quite essential to create loyal customers in the long-term and manage the company brand too. It proves to be ‘a healing exercise’ both for the customers and employees as well. Therefore, it creates win-win situation for all stakeholders including employers. Motivational factor is involved in ‘mouth-publicity’ in spite of advertisement and marketing strategies. Your behavior with the customer will define positive or negative mouth publicity of your product / service and company. It is required to train the employees on ‘How To Respond?’ rather than ‘How To React?’ It will certainly minimize the customer complaints to the great extent.

Emotions coined with moods work effectively to foster the culture of creativity and innovation at workplace. Many times, it is essential to involve people in the decision-making process as to ensure their acceptance. Your strong relations with the team will help to solve complex and critical problems with practical, working solutions from a third-person point of view. People with fire in the belly can do wonders when they are united and inspired to achieve common goals. Strongest emotions are sensitized and arrest our mind quickly (Marsella & Gratch, 2002). Certainly, a leader has to work on identifying such emotions which trigger the behavior. He / she should build trust, empower them accordingly. Only then, the employees will feel (not think) that office is a second home for them.

An application of affective events theory is possible in the context of managerial effectiveness. It enable to inculcate the core values of organization like integrity, accountability etc. Ambiguous tasks are replaced by well-defined job roles and responsibilities. A leader can set clear expectations to ensure transparent communication leading to achieve the targets. Lateral thinking, analytical mindset is developed. Fair and equal treatment will raise the morale of the employees. Decisions will be taken without any prejudices and premature evaluation. Problems are considered as hidden opportunities rather than obstacles or challenges.

Business firms have to opt for consistent improvement in terms of quality standards, product or process developments etc. This is because they want to be competitive always in the market. Hence, changes take place at workplace on regular basis. For example, a mobile company like Samsung appeals the potential customer through tagline “What is Next?” Here, change is nothing but an event. Effective Events Theory can prove as a fruitful exercise in change management. When change is introduced, people generally resist for a change. It is natural as they are not mentally ready to come out of their comfort zone. Hence, a leader has to initiate and convince the benefits of new changes for them and to the organization as well. It will answer the question ‘What is in it for me?’ Only then, the team will start to respond rather than to react. The workplace would be a place for ‘ease of doing businesses.

It is equally important to learn managing self and others too. First of all, an individual needs to be aware about him / her. It is a must to work on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats too. For example, career development plan can be designed based on SWOT analysis. It is nothing but self-awareness. Secondly, self-management gives your greater inner satisfaction. It can reflect through your behavior at workplace while interacting with your team, seniors. You start giving and taking respect. As a result, you’re approachable to others. People value your opinion without hesitation building trustworthiness. The next stage is social awareness. It enables everybody to get an idea as to how to behave in public life with others without hurting anybody. It keeps us away from ego, prejudice and premature evaluation etc. Such behavior is liked by all. No wonder, you could be an apple in the eyes of others at workplace. It is very much essential for any leadership position. If you are good at aforementioned three stages, relationship management would not be a difficult job for you. In short, a combo package of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management will make an individual as a proactive team member (Goleman, 2006).


All the above discussion shows that human mind is agile. Balanced mindset charged with positivity can lead to better performance at workplace. It is essential to manage the stress and make office as a home away from home. If team is working like a family, synergy takes place and can maximize the potential to the great extend. Effective Events Theory is very much effective in problem-solving, disaster management, rewards and recognition system. No wonder, one can identify its scope in customer satisfaction and employee retention strategy as well. Hence, emotional intelligence coined with managerial effectiveness will make the workplace as a ‘centre of business excellence’. 


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