"If You are My Friend, Please Show Your Anger…" Differences Between Friends and Colleagues in Faking Emotions


  • Tali Seger-Guttmann
  • Hana Medler-Liraz
  • Joseph Guttmann


Social norms govern what is considered an acceptable show of emotions as a function of social circumstances. Yet, very little empirical work has been done on how the nature of a relationship influences reactions to faked emotions. Faking emotions has primarily been discussed in the context of service encounters. Popular theories encourage authenticity in a relationship. Our purpose was to examine the possibility that under certain conditions, people prefer their relationship partners to fake their emotions. We studied partners' preferences with best friends and with colleagues as regards their counterparts’ expression of authentic anger. Our results showed that people preferred their colleagues not to express their anger, and to fake their emotions to a significantly greater extent than their best friends. In exchanges between colleagues, individuals preferred their partners to fake their emotions more in situations of high intensity anger than in situations of low intensity anger.