When my daughter was smaller she would either be happy as larry or completely furious. On a scale of 0 – 10 she was either 0 or 10. I started talking to her about sparklers and fireworks. When it comes to expressing the intensity of your emotions – sometimes fireworks are entirely appropriate but for others sparklers were more acceptable. Anyway, this worked for her. So I was fascinated recently when I was able to participate in a datahack for Spurprojects How is the World Feeling?
This is the largest open data source of emotions in the world. Over a period of a week 10,144 participants recorded how they were feeling, what they were doing and to what level of intensity they were feeling the emotion. There are some interesting trends to be observed. We have shared some of these insights in a previous post.
About the data
The participants were asked to rate on a scale from 0 being not very intense to 100 being very intense how they felt at each point they logged an emotion (happy, sad, anxious, powerful, peaceful, angry).
Range of intensity felt across emotions?
Figure 1 shows all emotions and the level of intensity they were felt across the day. It seems that all emotions fluctuate in how intense they are felt throughout the day. Emotions that I consider stronger and perhaps more transient have a greater range across the day. Anger at its lowest level of intensity is at 5:00am with an average recording of a level of intensity of 17 and at its highest at 2:00pm with an average rated intensity of 40. Something must happen in that after lunch time that spikes anger as by the time 5:00pm rolls around anger drops in level of intensity again.
Happiness on the other hand is an emotion that is recorded with a fairly small range at a moderate level of intensity. When we are feeling happy we seem to be… well happy. There are not too many wild peaks and troughs for happiness. 6:00am seems to be when we record our lowest level of happiness….waking up and getting about our day. Although the highest reported level of intensity of happiness was at 1:00am so one can only think this is for those participants that recorded how they were feeling after a decent night out.
It seems that the highest level of intensity for those feeling anxious is in the early hours of the morning. Reported higher level of feelings of the emotion powerful occurred from 5:00 – 6:00am which may coincide with a typical time for people to exercise as this is one activity that seems to promote a feeling of being powerful. For a more indepth look at this have a look at Truii’s Emotional Summaries Dashboard.
Figure 1: Emotional Intensity over the day across all countries (click on the legend to turn series on and off)
We grouped together the emotions by type, so those emotions that are associated with a negative state such as anxiety, sadness and anger and the more positive emotional states of happy, peaceful and powerful. Figure 2 demonstrates that positive emotions are experienced with greater levels of intensity than the negative emotional types. It is important to note though that at no stage on average are emotions felt beyond a rating of 50. Neither very strongly or very mildly.
Figure 2: Average Positive and Negative Emotional Intensity (click on the legend to turn series on and off)
How does the world report on their experience of emotions?
Figure 3 shows the average intensity of negative (sad, anxious, angry) emotions felt by country. If you hover the mouse over the map you can drill into the average level of intensity felt for each country. The blue areas are the lower levels of reported intensity and the orange areas are the highest intensity of negative emotions felt. Yellow is through the middle range. You can click on the legend to see the full colour spectrum.
Figure 3: Average Negative Emotional Intensity by Country (click on country to see average)
Looking at this map (Figure 3) it seems that most participants across the different countries reported on average mid range levels of intensity with some countries having higher rated intensity of negative emotions (such as Pakistan 71, Iraq 98.5, Columbia 93 and Somalia 82). When you take into consideration the information presented in Figure 4 which is the average intensity of negative emotions felt across each hour of the day you can see that some countries whose average intensity is rated as medium level of intensity actually experience quite a range of intensity of negative emotions across the day. If you hit the play button on Figure 4 you can watch this fluctuation over the day.
Russia is a country that reports a real range of negative emotional intensity experienced from low levels to high levels. They reported an intensity of 97 (out of 100) at 5:00pm and an average rating of 7 at 7:00pm. It is fascinating to watch over the course of the day the level of intensity of emotions felt ebb and flow from not very intense to higher levels of intensity. I guess it is human to feel a range of emotions and perhaps some cultural influences to how intense these are felt. Further investigation into the data would be really interesting.
Figure 4: Intensity of Negative emotions by each hour. Press play button to watch change over the day.
Figure 5 shows the average intensity for positive emotions around the world. It seems on average participants reported a mid (yellow) to high (orange) range of intensity for positive emotions. To see the change in positive emotions across each hour of the day go to Truii’s How intensely do we feel positive emotions?
Looking at the average intensity of emotions reported countries such as Australia and China have recorded averages that suggest the participants traveled a fairly stable emotional intensity path across that week. Both positive and negative emotional types were experienced with a similar intensity. The average intensity of negative emotions experienced for Australia was 29 and China 20 and the average positive emotional intensity was rated at 36 for Australia and 28 for China.
When you look at countries such as Pakistan which rated level of intensity for negative emotions as 71 and positive emotions as 42 and Columbia which rated level of intensity for negative emotions as 93 and positive as 14. It would be interesting to understand the social determinants and influences that enable these differences in how we perceive our emotional intensity around the world.
Figure 5: Average Positive Emotional Intensity by Country (click on country to see average)
Looking at Figure 3 and Figure 5 the most prominent colour are the yellows which represents the mid range of emotional intensity. So I guess it seems that across the world there are a lot of sparklers.
We would like to thank the participants of How is the World Feeling? for sharing insights into how they felt across the day and across the week.
About the data visualisations
The visualisations in this post are contained within the following Dashboards.
You can link to the Dashboard, or use the shortcode from each viz to embed or link to specific Viz’s in another web page. You can simply ‘like’ any of the visualisations to post them on your social media feed.
The viz’s are easy to make . All you need to do is create a free Truii account to create and publish your own data visualizations.
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