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Welcome to the Workplace Emotional Labor and Diversity (WELD) lab at Penn State

The central focus of our research is the challenge in balancing one’s self and work demands, with implications for both employee health and performance.  In particular, we study regulating emotions and coping with stereotypes and bias (i.e., diversity).  

Lab Supervisor Biography

Alicia Grandey photoDr. Alicia Grandey is Professor of Psychology at Penn State University since 1999, after receiving her PhD in industrial-organizational psychology at Colorado State University  and BA at University of Oregon.  Dr. Grandey’s research focuses on emotional labor, or the managing emotional expressions as a required part of the work role that has implications for performance and health, as well as workplace diversity, with studies on gender, racial, national, and political differences at work.  Dr. Grandey has published over 50 articles in top journals (e.g., Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, and Journal of Management), 11 book chapters, and co-edited the 2013 book Emotional Labor in the 21st Century (Routledge). in 2016, Dr. Grandey received funding to host a multidisciplinary NSF Workshop on Work Climate in Organizations, with psychology, business and engineering scholars of emotions, creativity, teams, and leadership. See Dr. Grandey's CV.

Dr. Grandey's work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, been cited over 18, 000 times, and featured in popular press including Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, Reddit, CNN, ABC, BBC, and others.  See Dr. Grandey's work in the media.

Photo credit:  @LilyRayaPhotography

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Emotional Labor

Dr. Grandey's primary stream of research is on emotional labor, where employees manage their emotions and expressions as part of the job, specifically in customer service.

Learn more about Emotional Labor >

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As a secondary area of interest, Dr. Grandey’s research lab studies how individual differences (i.e., traits, values, beliefs) and group differences (i.e., gender, race, work climate, national culture) help to understand work stress and performance. 

Learn more about Diversity Initiatives in the Psychology Department >



Research News: (contact  if interested in forthcoming articles)

Daily emotional labor and alcohol use.  WELD member Gordon Sayre’s paper based on his masters’ thesis was conditionally accepted at Journal of Applied Psychology.  Nice work!

Women's "Three M's" at work: Do natural bodily changes - and the stigma around them - hold women back in their careers?  See recently accepted paper in J. of Management (review issue).

Association for Psychological ScienceWhat is emotional labor?  See forthcoming concise review for beginners to the field (Grandey & Sayre, in press, Current Directions in Psychological Science
See Associated Media by APS

Are fakers also drinkers?  Emotional labor is linked to heavy drinking across occupations (Grandey, Frone, Melloy, & Sayre, in press, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology) as featured in the media on the front page of, CNNthe Daily Mailthe New York PostInversePacific Standard, and the Takeout

Alumni News:

Recent graduate Dr. Bobby Melloy (PhD Aug 2018) started his new job as Senior People Scientist at Culture Amp in New York City and Dr. Michael Hosie (PhD Dec 2018) became Professor and Director of Leadership Studies for the Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

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Dr. Patricia Grabarek (PhD 2011) started a blog to support worker health called WorkrBeeing with Dr. Katina Sawyer, check it out!

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