If you read the newspapers or switch on the nightly news, you might conclude that there is a lot to be afraid of over the coming year, in keeping with 2016. Fear is primal and one of the most fundamental of human emotions. Charles Darwin believed that the emotion of fear went back to the origins of all species, writing, “we may confidently believe … Fear was expressed from an extremely remote period in almost the same manner as it is now by man”. Read more »
Archive for the 'emotion' Category
In Arrival, Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams) asks to meet and interact face-to-face with the aliens who have landed on Planet Earth and has to use visual communication to more quickly and effectively learn their language. Similarly, studies of human communication have shown that non-verbal signals account for a significant proportion of that communication making it more effective and memorable. Read more »
If there is an emotion that is most strongly associated with the Christmas and New Year holidays it must surely be Joy. In the text as well as performances of the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the world’, Joy is associated with singing and a very physical and spontaneous sense of well-being. [The carol was written by Isaac Watts, a pastor with a father who was jailed for his non-conformist views, in 1719 and with a famous musical setting written by George Frederick Handel.]
In Emotional Rollercoaster, Claudia Hammond goes on a journey through the science of emotions, exploring nine different emotions on the way. Although harder going and less enjoyable than another book I have recently read and reviewed, this is still full of insights into the science behind emotions as well as anecdotes that illuminate how each emotion fits into our understanding of human behaviour. Let’s take a quick tour of each of the nine. Read more »
In some ways The Book of Human Emotions is a remarkable book, managing to cover 154 different emotions into a very readable and entertaining 270 pages. Through short, witty and illuminating essays on each emotion, the author reveals some of the many stories behind each emotion, and although light on science this is a book that is rich in insights into the human condition. Read more »
The result of the recent referendum in the UK on membership of the European Union (EU) was a big shock for most people, including opinion poll companies. Unfortunately, they had been providing remarkably similar forecasts for the last several months as the poll became closer, sometimes up and sometimes down but almost all with the same prediction. Those that tried even failed to get it right on polling day itself. In this regard, they repeated their poor performance of the UK general election just over one year ago. Read more »
TapestryWorks has been using Visual Think Cards® for several years now to capture human goals and the emotions and contexts that are associated with them. For most branding applications, these work very well to elicit the balance of positive and negative sentiment associated with a category, brand or experience.
However, sometimes we need to dig deeper into emotions, especially when the topic is more serious and with darker feelings. On these occasions, we have often used a model of human emotions based on evolutionary biology and psychology (read more here and here about Robert Plutchik’s wheel of emotions).
Emotional mapping is a core part of TapestryWorks work, and we have often argued that emotions are much more physical and non-conscious than cognitive (see our white paper here). So I was fascinated to find a paper from 2013 in which the authors reported several studies inn which they had asked people to “map” bodily sensations though a topographical self-report method. The results are fascinating and show that different emotions produce sensations in different parts of the body. They also show evidence that in the majority of cases these sensations and states are culturally universal. Read more »
Why do people who like fun fly with Virgin Airlines while those who seek safety and control stick with British Airways? Is there a reason that IKEA’s brand experience is so successful in communicating their democratic values? And why has the resurrection of LEGO to become the world’s largest toy brand been one of the brand success stories of the last 20 years (even leading to one of the most successful movies of 2014)? Read more »
Our emotional brain speaks the language of experience, dominated by our visual world. It’s time for research to start talking the same language as the emotional brain.
Let’s face it – as researchers we spend most of our lives in the verbal sphere. But does that make sense? And, in particular, does it make sense to try and understand human emotions through questions and answers or sets of words? We are living in the visual age, where many claim that visual literacy is on the rise, with the use of multiple screens and the importance of the moving image in TV, film and online (read a review of The Age of the Image here). But humans have always been more visual than verbal, and technology is now allowing us to share visual information more easily than ever before. So there is no longer an excuse for market research! Read more »