Beyond Sentiment – What Are Emotions, and Why Are They Useful to Analyze?

Tom H. C. Anderson
April 26th, 2016

Text Analytics Tips - Branding

Beyond Sentiment – What are emotions and why are they useful to analyze?– Text Analytics Tips by Gosia

Emotions – Revealing What Really Matters

Emotions are short-term intensive and subjective feelings directed at something or someone (e.g., fear, joy, sadness). They are different from moods, which last longer, but can be based on the same general feelings of fear, joy, or sadness.

3 Components of Emotion: Emotions result from arousal of the nervous system and consist of three components: subjective feeling (e.g., being scared), physiological response (e.g., a pounding heart), and behavioral response (e.g., screaming). Understanding human emotions is key in any area of research because emotions are one of the primary causes of behavior.

Moreover, emotions tend to reveal what really matters to people. Therefore, tracking primary emotions conveyed in text can have powerful marketing implications.

The Emotion Wheel – 8 Primary Emotions

OdinText can analyze any psychological content of text but the primary attention has been paid to the power of emotions conveyed in text.

8 Primary Emotions: OdinText tracks the following eight primary emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation (see attached figure; primary emotions in bold).

Sentiment Analysis
Figure 1. A three-dimensional structural model of emotions, often called The Wheel of Emotions (primary emotions are marked in bold). Adapted from Robert Plutchik. (1991). “The Emotions. Revised Edition”. Lanham: University Press of America.

Bipolar Nature: These primary emotions have a bipolar nature; joy is opposed to sadness, trust to disgust, fear to anger, and surprise to anticipation. Emotions in the blank spaces are mixtures of the two neighboring primary emotions.

Intensity: The color intensity dimension suggests that each primary emotion can vary in ntensity with darker hues representing a stronger emotion (e.g., terror > fear) and lighter hues representing a weaker emotion (e.g. apprehension < fear). The analogy between theory of emotions and the theory of color has been adopted from the seminal work of Robert Plutchik in 1980s. [All 32 emotions presented in the figure above are a basis for OdinText Emotional Sentiment tracking metric].

Stay tuned for more tips giving details on each of the above emotions.


Text Analytics Tips with Gosi

[NOTE: Gosia is a Data Scientist at OdinText Inc. Experienced in text mining and predictive analytics, she is a Ph.D. with extensive research experience in mass media’s influence on cognition, emotions, and behavior.  Please feel free to request additional information or an OdinText demo here.]

3 thoughts on “Beyond Sentiment – What Are Emotions, and Why Are They Useful to Analyze?”

  1. I like your basic framework and emotion wheel. I’m struggling with where feelings like reassured/confident, having peace of mind, and feeling free fit into your approach as these are ones that often come up when we talk with customers/consumers.

  2. I suppose that feeling reassured, having peace of mind and feeling free are all positive emotions related to joy. What has not been captured in the post above but will be in another one coming out soon is that joy, for instance, consists of as many as 16 specific emotions (including gratitude, relief, ecstasy etc.). This list could easily be extended to include the feelings you have suggested or they could also appear at the intersection of joy and trust, if needed.

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