Emotion Spiral

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Emotions can be distinguished on three dimensions: pleasant versus unpleasant, activated versus quiescent, and feeling dominant versus feeling vulnerable.

In the plane formed by pleasantness and activation, emotions lie approximately on a circle. Unpleasant emotions are further distinguishable in terms of domination versus vulnerability. Interestingly, no pleasant emotion with a name is associated with a sense of vulnerability.

The orderliness of emotions on the three dimensions inspired the idea of using an emotion-spiral to measure emotions. Studies by Heise and Calhan (1995) and by Heise and Weir (1999) used such an instrument for data collection.

The following shows an emotion-spiral measuring instrument for use on the World Wide Web. This example doesn't actually collect data; the Done button has no effect.

You need a Java-enabled browser to view this applet.


URL: www.indiana.edu/~socpsy/ACT/emotion_spiral.htm