What are Emotions and Moods? - Types & Sources

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  • 0:05 Jobs and Emotions
  • 0:36 Definition of Emotions
  • 1:32 Types of Emotions
  • 2:01 Definition of Moods
  • 2:25 Types of Moods
  • 3:16 Sources of Emotions and Moods
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Lesson Transcript
Jennifer Lombardo
Expert Contributor
Jennifer Levitas

Jennifer has a Ph.D. in Psychology. She's taught multiple college-level psychology courses and been published in several academic journals.

Emotions and moods both can affect the quality of the work environment. Positive emotions and moods can decrease absenteeism, turnover and worker stress.

Jobs and Emotions

Sally has just found out that she is being offered two different new job opportunities after graduating from college. Both jobs will help her grow in developing her marketing and advertising skills for the future. Each position has her reporting to a very different boss. She has to decide which job she should take. Although the jobs are very similar in tasks, the bosses each have different emotions and moods that they express during the workday. Let's take a look at her two choices.

Definition of Emotions

Emotions are very short-lived feelings that come from a known cause. When Sally discovered she was receiving two job offers she was very happy. The specific cause was due to the fact that she would be getting job offers and making excellent money after college. Emotions also include the contemplation to act a specific way based on feelings or physiological changes. Emotions can affect attitudes and behaviors in the workplace. Sally discovered that the marketing position with Rosey Cosmetics has a boss that is known to bring negative emotions into the workplace. She was warned that the negative emotions, such as hostility and anger, exist daily, which has led to employees who have job dissatisfaction. Turnover is very high at the cosmetics firm. Sally is torn because the salary is $10,000 higher than the other job offer at a pet food company.

Types of Emotions

There are many different types of emotions. Some examples of emotions are happy, sad, angry, fearful or hostile. Negative emotions, such as anger, fear and guilt, can cause a very poor work environment to develop. Positive emotions in a work environment, such as happy and excited, can cause better worker productivity, cohesiveness, health and cognitive functions. Sally's potential boss has created a very hostile work environment with stressed-out employees.

Definitions of Moods

Moods are feelings that are longer lasting than emotions and have no clear starting point of formation. Moods are actually made up of multiple emotions. Sally's second job opportunity at Perfect Pet Food is with a boss that is known to have good moods in the workplace. Even though the pay is a lot less, Sally is starting to realize the impact of a good working environment.

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Additional Activities

Emotions and Moods

Activity 1:

Take a small notepad with you all day long on a day of your choosing, from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. On this notepad, jot down your emotions any time you feel one. Do not second-guess that you are having an emotion, or wonder where it is coming from. Just take note of it. Your notepad should be filled with simple emotion words. For example, your notepad from the time you wake up until the time you eat lunch may look like this: happy, happy, joyful, frustrated, frustrated, happy. You do not need to note the duration of each emotion, just note the onset of each. At the end of the day, you should have a long list of emotion words. Now identify each of those words as positive or negative in valence and tally how many positive words you have as compared to negative words. Of which do you have more? Why do you think that is? Are you satisfied with the emotions you felt during the day, or would you like to alter them? Do you think you could do so? Write two to three paragraphs analyzing the emotion words you jotted down and reflect on the questions above.

Activity 2:

Do you think you are in a predominantly negative mood in your daily life, or predominantly positive mood? Are you a "glass half empty" or a "glass half full" kind of person? How about those around you? What are the predominant moods or your parents, your siblings, and your friends? Why do you have the predominant mood that you have? Is it something intrinsic to you, such as you were simply born that way, or do you think you learned your predominant mood from those around you? Could you change your predominant mood if you wanted to? If so, how? Write a three to four paragraph journal entry addressing these questions.

Activity 3:

Find an elderly person whom you admire and ask him or her for an interview. Develop at least twelve questions to ask, designed to discuss the person's view of his or her own emotions and moods. For example, what has this person learned about emotions and moods over a long lifetime? What advice could this person give a young individual on the subject of emotions and moods? Write down the answers that this person provides during the interview. Afterward, write a reflective paragraph on your feelings about the interview, your thoughts about the person's life, and how you might be able to incorporate some of the advice given into your own life.

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