Associations of personality and emotional intelligence with display rule perceptions and emotional labour

E. J. Austin, T. C. P. Dore, K. M. O'Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emotional labour has been widely studied and is of considerable interest in relation to outcomes such as sense of accomplishment and burnout. There is a growing interest in individual differences in emotional labour and in organisational display rule perceptions. Personality and emotional intelligence (EI) are relevant to this, but their effects have been examined in a relatively small number of publications. The present study extends this literature by examining associations amongst personality, EI, display rule perceptions and emotional labour in a group of 247 undergraduate students. Surface acting (SA) was found to be positively correlated with Neuroticism and negatively correlated with Extraversion and Conscientiousness, whilst deep acting (DA) was positively correlated with Agreeableness and Extraversion. Positive display rule perceptions were correlated with Extraversion and negative display rule perceptions with Neuroticism. EI was unrelated to DA but negatively associated with SA and positively associated with positive display rule perceptions. Structural equation modelling showed that EI partially mediated the effect of personality on SA. The personality correlations were similar to previous results. For EI it appears that high-EI individuals are less likely to make use of the emotionally superficial SA strategy; this may be related to their superior emotion regulation capabilities. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-688
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


  • emotional intelligence


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