Fibbing About Your Feelings: The Relationship between Emotional Misrepresentation and Trust

79 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017 Last revised: 11 Mar 2018

See all articles by Emma Levine

Emma Levine

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: February 1, 2017

Abstract

Across two pilot studies, and six main experiments, I examine the relationship between emotional misrepresentation and interpersonal trust. I focus on one’s decision to either feign happiness or express authentic negative emotion when one is experiencing distress due to challenging personal circumstances. I find that emotional misrepresentation sends both positive and negative signals about one’s character, and thus has opposing effects on different trusting decisions. Emotional misrepresentation signals self-control and resilience, as well as dishonesty and distrust of others. As a result, individuals who misrepresent their emotions engender high competence-based trust (e.g., they are more likely to be trusted with difficult workplace tasks) but they engender low integrity-based trust (e.g., they are less likely to be trusted to provide their honest feedback to others). I explore these effects and their boundaries across a range of samples, contexts, and manipulations. This research unearths the circumstances in which self-expression helps versus harms interpersonal and workplace relationships, explores the antecedents and consequences of distinct dimensions of trust, and documents new consequences of inauthenticity.

Keywords: emotional misrepresentation; trust; affect; social cognition

Suggested Citation

Levine, Emma, Fibbing About Your Feelings: The Relationship between Emotional Misrepresentation and Trust (February 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2910089 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2910089

Emma Levine (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
78
Abstract Views
506
rank
321,452
PlumX Metrics