Locating emotions

by Nisan1 min read27th Jul 20115 comments


Personal Blog

It's important that we understand how our emotions work. Sometimes emotions give us valuable information, and sometimes our emotions don't behave the way we want them to. A prerequisite for individually understanding anything about our emotions is the ability to notice and identify emotions. I sometimes find this difficult.

One piece of advice I get is to notice where different emotions are felt in my body. A graphic designer asked 250 people to draw where they feel different emotions, and superimposed the drawings. The results are evocative.

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It would be interesting to repeat the survey with people from other languages/cultures. For example, many people seem to associate 'sadness' with blue, and English has an expression 'feeling blue', or 'having the blues', that means feeling sad. If they'd run the survey in the Netherlands, say, where we don't have such an expression, would sadness also be blue? (It feels more like gray, to me.)

Sadness apparently leaked on the floor.

I enjoy the swirling love arrows in question 5! The pictures also look like overhead views of funky aircraft, especially anger. Ok, only anger, really. I'm surprised that blue didn't take the top (leftmost here) spot for sadness in question 4, but I suppose grey is glum as well. I also think it's interesting that green does not feature prominently, seeing how it's everywhere in nature! Maybe other emotions, like tranquility, would help to yield a more complete spectrum. I'm also a bit surprised by the absolute dearth of purple, I associate it with joy quite powerfully! This reminds me of that game where you give someone a word or phrase and get them to tell you the image it conjures in their head right away. My favourite result of that is the fact that 'you're welcome' produces a close up of Trident Gum in my head! Probably associated with a polite exchange of gum in the days of my earliest youth.

Thank you for the link - very illuminating.

I found it interesting how love seemed to be diametrically opposed to anger- anger as a very cranial (and hand) centric emotion while love seemed to be the most whole. I think it says something about the emotions being either very individualistic or shared- the love one's outline in places almost looks like it's expanding the character.