Human emotions: a valuable resource

– C. Tyrogalas


In the last century emotions changed a lot their connotation: if before they were associated to the world of irrational and uncontrollable, now they appear as desirable, so much that many products are advertised like carriers of intense emotional experience.

Nowadays they are the subject of interest of many fields such marketing, politics and education, since they are able to amplify concentration, motivation, and become a tool for the creativity process.

A positive person has a natural tendency to be efficient, productive, and to spread these qualities around himself.
Understanding other people’s emotions is part of the process of empathy: it can assure you the traits of a leader as it helps in resolving disagreements and understanding what people need.
It’s no coincidence that the politicians who tune on the emotion of their electorate are helped in winning the elections.

But, is it possible to ‘predict’ the quality of human emotions? Or can they just be post-analyzed?

One of the most active scientific institutions in the field of the emotion research, the University of Geneva, developed a system which can generate ‘predictions’ based on an appraisal theory of emotion.
The user is asked to describe a life episode identifying it with one or two emotion labels from a list of 13, then he is guided to a series of 34 questions to deepen the emotional state.
Lastly the system produces a solution which should coincide with the label given at the start.
In 51% of the cases the matching is effective. Even though the Geneva System can’t be considered a scientific tool yet, it is a first attempt to predict (actually, post-dict) the words that people will use to describe their emotional experiences on the basis of self-reported appraisal.

Not only a glimpse at a future where technology can interpret human feelings, but also a reminder that emotions are both an heritage and a resource. In order to generate involvement and desire of active participation, is important to look at the human being in a holistic perspective, considering bothe the cognitive and the emotional dimension.



connieConstantina Tyrogalas was born in 1987 in Bologna, where she achieved a Bachelor degree in History and a M.A. in Visual Arts with a thesis on the Psychology of the Northern Irish Arts during the Troubles.
After some work experience as graphic/web designer, editor, guide and curator, she landed in B-Sm@rk, Dublin, where she currently works in Marketing and Communication.