Visualising Emotions: Measuring motivations simply, quickly and intuitively

Feb 07 2018 Published by under culture

Measuring human motivations and emotions is difficult. Three reasons for this are that

  • Verbal questions tend to rationalize responses
  • Emotional language terms can be very difficult to translate
  • Different cultures have different values

More broadly, emotions are highly contextual and latest theories of emotion, see them as mental constructions in the same way that perceptions are mental constructions based on external cues. Emotions and perceptions are both processed in the same parts of the brain and help us to interpret and adapt to the environment around us, directing us towards our goals (see Lisa Feldman Barrett’s book for more on this). Read more »

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Context Matters

May 31 2014 Published by under context

What do brain science and semiotics have in common? Semiotics and cultural studies reveal the systems of signs that exist in culture and other belief systems, where cultural context matters. Behavioural economics, social psychology and brain science all demonstrate that even small changes in the environment (context) can lead to huge changes in human behaviour. They both show that context matters much more than we admit, through shared cultural values, the ways in which meaning is ‘situated’ in particular contexts, and the interaction between context, emotional meaning and the link between behaviour and emotional context.

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