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Monitoring Emotions



Could Electronic Communications Be Used to Predict the Well-Being of Organizations?

Can organizations use social media to help monitor their well-being? In her newest post on the SIOP Exchange, SIOP blogger Carrie Zapka discusses the monitoring of social media, such as Twitter, for emotions and how this might be useful to organizations that capture this information.

“Perhaps it is too early to tell how useful these innovative methods are going to be for I-O psychologists, but it sure is exciting to think about the possibilities,” she says in her post.

Zapka refers to “Social Scientists Wade Into the Tweet Stream,” an article in the September 30, 2011 issue of Science (subscription required; republished by University of Vermont here), in which the author shared recent studies that mined Twitter data for insights into human behavior.

Peter Dodds and colleagues from the University of Vermont, she states, applied a novel method to analyze years of tweets from around the world. The Twitter data suggest a global decay in mood, a decrease in “average happiness” level, which they determined by comparing the relative usage of common words associated with positive or negative moods. Their results indicate that the world is not as happy today as it was in 2009!

“What might differences in the average happiness levels between workgroups within one organization indicate?” Zapka asks. “What would it mean if one organization had a higher level than another? If we monitored several companies for years would we discover correlations with standard I-O measures of organizational well-being? Could we learn to predict a future dip in customer satisfaction, turnover rates or financial success by observing a preceding dip in the IdeaNut Logocollective employee mood?”

Continue reading SIOP blogger Carrie Zapka’s thoughts on this topic in his blog post here, and post your reactions and comments to the Exchange today.

Check back to the Exchange weekly for new posts from SIOP’s bloggers!

About SIOP’s Bloggers

SIOP’s bloggers have been posting since late 2011. This group of members serves as opinion leaders and conversation starters. They contribute regularly to the content of the Exchange on various topics related to the field of I-O psychology, discussing topics as diverse as innovation in organizations, employee well-being, leadership development, legal issues, education and training of students, I-O and sustainability, selection and assessment, entrepreneurship, groups and teams, and women in the workplace.

The SIOP blogger crew is also a diverse one, with Members, Student Affiliates, and Associates from science and practice, working in organizations across the country. For a complete list of SIOP bloggers, visit the blogger profile page on the SIOP Exchange here.

If you have any questions about the SIOP Exchange, please contact the SIOP Electronic Communications Committee Chair Zack Horn at zhorn@aptima.com. For technical questions, contact Stephany Schings Below at sbelow@siop.org. For more information about contributor guidelines, view the Exchange post policy here.