Emotions in Organizations

Principal Investigator: Yochi Cohen-Charash

At the emotions in organizations lab, we examine the role of emotions in motivating behavior in general, and in work organizations in particular.  One of the emotions we focus on is envy.  We have repeatedly shown that envy can result in self-promoting, other-demoting, an additional reactions that do not belong to these two categories (e.g., cognitive reappraisal, withdrawal), and now examine various personal and situational variables that influence the type of reactions to envy people can have. Other lines of research concerning envy examine its relationship with justice, interventions that might help people cope with envy, and identifying the antecedents of envy.  

Additional projects deal with the emotion of being happy for the other’s success (firgun) as motivating work behavior.  We are also interested in jealousy and examine its occurrence in non-relationship contexts. This is a novel way of looking at jealousy and expands the range of situations in which jealousy operates and motivates behavior. In addition to our research on emotions, we also study issues of fairness in organizations, especially the relationship between fairness and emotions. We utilize a wide variety of research methods, such as laboratory experiments, correlational studies, survey research, longitudinal studies, archival studies, and qualitative studies.

The success of our research is dependent on the research assistants who work with us.  We have research assistants at the undergraduate and graduate levels, from Baruch College and from other schools.  Of our past research assistants, nearly 34% have gone on to pursue Doctoral degrees in psychology or related fields at universities such as the University of Akron, Bowling Green, and the CUNY Graduate Center. Approximately 38% of our past research assistants have continued to MA/M.sc studies in universities like Columbia, NYU, and the CUNY system; 17% of our students pursued applied jobs, and the rest are still completing their BA. 

Research Projects Currently Underway 

  • Self-promoting and other-demoting reactions to envy– various projects with Elliott Larson, Manny Gonzalez, Soohyun (Ashley) Lee, and Paige Alenick

  • Being happy for the other’s good fortune (firgun)– with Elliott Larson, Charles Scherbaum, and Miriam Erez (the Techinion, Israel)

  • Jealousy at work– with Elliott Larson and Gerben van Kleef (University of Amsterdam)

  • Envy regulation through emotion attributions to self and others – with Elliott Larson and Agneta Fischer (University of Amsterdam)

  • Envy and (in)justice– with Manny Gonzalez

  • Coping with envy:

    • Individual-level mechanisms – with Elliott Larson

    • Organizational-level mechanisms – with Soohyun (Ashley) Lee, Elliott Larson, and Manny Gonzalez

  • Predictors of envy – with Danielle Wald and Paige Alenick

  • Envy meta-analysis– with Manny Gonzalez and Soohyun (Ashley) Lee

  • Boredom in the workplace– with Manny Gonzalez

  • The influence of stress on just behaviors and decision making –with Paige Alenick

Student Lab Members

Grad School Status of Past Undergraduate Research Assistants (N =45)

  • Currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program: 15

  • Currently enrolled in a Master’s program: 17