Vlerick researcher Karen De Visch’s thesis receives an honourable mention

Vlerick researcher Karen De Visch’s thesis on ‘The significance of hidden feelings – validation of the IPANAT in two samples’ received an honourable mention at the annual ADMB Awards Ceremony. The study was also chosen as the ‘best non-Dutch-language thesis’.

Although Karen would have preferred to win the award itself, in hindsight she is quite happy about this recognition: “I am quite satisfied with the acknowledgement of my thesis, which was written in English, as well as being rather academic. My main reason for participating in the ADMB Awards was that it is always nice to know how your thesis compares with others and to find out more about what my fellow students focused on.”

Every year since 2001 the HR services group ABMB awards a prize to an HR professional who has generated significant added value for his or her company with an innovative and powerful HR project. A second award goes to a student whose dissertation and research made a relevant contribution to the HR world. With this award ADMB wants to highlight the importance of a solid partnership between HR experts, the academic world and businesses.

In her thesis Karen demonstrates that implicit emotions are also important, more specifically in the framework of creativity on the workfloor. Emotion involves so much more than what people can put into words. “An explicit way of measuring emotion is to literally ask people how angry they feel, for example. But alongside this people also implicitly express their emotions. As a researcher you can observe these without them being aware of this. The big advantage is that it is very difficult for them to ‘cheat’. At the same time they do not have to define their emotions themselves. Research has demonstrated that people cannot always accurately formulate this.

Karen discovered that studying implicit feelings is one way of reconciling the many contradictory findings on emotion and creativity with each other. “Sometimes negative emotions were seen as the key to creativity, but an equivalent number of studies indicated that positive emotions were a creativity booster. With my thesis I was able to demonstrate that we forget to measure a part of the emotion if we only take explicit expressions of emotion into account.

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