Through their impact on human behavior, emotions have a strong effect on the success of a company or any other organization. Even though it is commonly measured, satisfaction is not actually one of the most desirable emotions.
The connection between emotions and behavior is deeply rooted in evolution. Emotions prepare a person to react to internal and external events. According to Professor Klaus Scherer’s theory on emotions, the Component Process Model, an emotional episode is made up of cognitive appraisal, bodily manifestations, facial and vocal expression and gestures, action tendencies, and the subjective experience of emotional state – which ultimately answers the question “how do I feel now?”
Emotions lead to actions, which at their most primitive involve fight-or-flight responses but can also include more complex and evolved behavior. Examples are cases of communal activities arising from emotions of love and compassion. While the rational mind assesses the circumstances and weighs the consequences of our actions, often our emotions still call the shots.
Individuals experience emotions, and organizations experience behavior
Emotions are significant to individuals. Recognizing, accepting, and experiencing our emotions and their causes, in solid awareness of our behavior, are fundamental for our emotional health and well-being. No emotions are good or bad. Emotions just are. We shouldn’t try to escape from even the most difficult or uncomfortable emotions – they will catch up with us anyway and affect our behavior, often on an unconscious level.
From the standpoint of an organization, the way emotions influence the behavior of individuals, personnel or customers, is what matters the most. Emotion-based behavior has a strong impact on the success of a company or any other organization.
Different emotions trigger different actions. While sadness and shame have a paralyzing effect, interest and pride lead to activity and engagement. Admiration arouses positive engagement, while anger results in negative engagement. Emotions can also contribute to prosocial behavior. For example, compassion and love spur people to help one another.
An emotion-based scientific algorithm can predict behavior
Our NayaDaya® emotion technology enables individuals to recognize and express their emotions digitally and to have their voices heard in numerous respects. When a company or an other organization understands its personnel’s and customers’ emotions in various contexts, it can apply knowledge rather than assumptions for developing its operations, conditions, and communications – and, thereby, emotional experiences. We can’t force ourselves to feel a particular way. To influence our emotions, we must address their root causes.
For understanding the consequences of emotions, we have applied scientific findings to create an algorithm that analyzes emotional experiences and calculates their emotional value. This value is measured with the Emotional Value Index, which predicts how the emotions affect behavior.
We wanted to identify the dimensions of emotional value that universally promote the goals and interests of individuals and organizations alike, irrespective of whether the individual involved is an employee, customer, media user, or student. In the choice of elements contributing to the EVI value and the scientific algorithm, we paid great attention to emotions’ tendency to create engaged, positive, and prosocial behavior.
Therefore, the universal EVI value acts as an indicator of both individuals’ and organizations’ well-being and success. A high EVI score indicates human experiences with considerable emotional value in a certain context and that their impact on behavior is desirable.
A low value, in contrast, predicts undesirable effects on behavior. If any organization consciously strives for a low EVI value (for example, provoking fear), a critical assessment of the values and goals enshrined in its operations and communications is called for.
Why measure contentment?
Even though emotions are neither good nor bad from an individual’s point of view, some of them are more desirable than others from the organization’s perspective. With the EVI system, emotions are ranked on the basis of their capacity to generate engaged, positive, and prosocial behavior. Sadness yields the lowest EVI value, and interest contributes the highest.
Interestingly, while satisfaction is one of the most commonly measured and promoted emotions, it is not even one of the top third of emotions on the EVI scale. In fact, in the EVI model, interest, love, compassion, pride, joy, admiration, and pleasure are all more effective than contentment in generating desirable behavior.
This model encourages organizations to question the emphasis placed on satisfaction and to adopt a holistic view of the employees’ and customers’ emotions. The NayaDaya® technology performs all the complex research-based calculations required for this. For users, it provides easy-to-use tools, interprets the data generated, and offers new means for reaching the company’s or other organization’s central goals.
CEO & co-founder, NayaDaya Inc.
timo[at]nayadaya.com, tel. +358 40 505 7745
Thoughts about emotions and technology.