The moderating role of cognitive control deficits in the link from emotional dissonance to burnout symptoms and absenteeism


The present study examines whether cognitive control deficits (CCDs) as a personal vulnerability
factor amplify the relationship between emotional dissonance (ED; perceived discrepancy between felt and expressed emotions) and burnout symptoms (emotional exhaustion and depersonalization) as well as absenteeism. CCDs refer to daily failures and impairments of attention regulation, impulse control, and memory. The prediction of the moderator effect of CCDs draws on the argument that portraying emotions which are not genuinely felt is a form of self-regulation taxing and depleting a limited resource capacity. Interindividual differences in the resource capacity are reflected by the measure of CCDs. Drawing on two German samples (one crosssectional and one longitudinal sample; NTOTAL  645) of service employees, the present study analyzed interactive effects of ED and CCDs on exhaustion, depersonalization, and two indicators of absenteeism. As was hypothesized, latent moderated structural equation modeling revealed that the adverse impacts of ED on both burnout symptoms and absence behavior were amplified as a function of CCDs. Theoretical and practical implications of the present results will be discussed.