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A Time-Constrained, Image-Based method for Assessing Employee Emotions
  • JD Pincus
JD Pincus
Employee Benefit Research Institute

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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In this article, we make a case for the importance of understanding the emotional needs of employees, and we review difficulties experienced to date in doing so. We then describe a new neuropsychologically-based approach to overcoming past assessment challenges to measuring employee emotions. The new approach, called AgileBrain®, can be applied in a broad range of business situations where emotional learning is desired, and in particular can help researchers gain access to emotions that people, whether employees, leadership, or board members, can’t – or don’t want to – talk about.
AgileBrain is a synthesis of two threads of scientific work: one thread arises from neuroscience findings about non-verbal image processing and involves a method for creating a dialogue directly with the emotional brains of research respondents. The other thread builds upon a comprehensive review of motivational theory, to develop a new model for systematically describing employee motives. This model is used as the foundation for a library of validated images that form a “vocabulary” of motivational-emotional stimuli, which then lets researchers interpret subjects’ responses in the AgileBrain task.
Validation results for AgileBrain are presented in the second portion of this article. There, we present results conducted on employee emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic, which demonstrate the tremendous power of this type of emotional assessment in predicting important health and wellbeing outcomes, such as employee mental health and vulnerability to addiction.