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Love, Happiness - As Well As Pride, Shame and Envy

posted Jan 12, 2014, 2:16 PM by Ellen Pearlman


Subtitled “How Hot or Cold are You?”

A new study from the University of Tampere, Finland, shows emotions every actor knows - in vivid colored body image maps. Researchers used a topographical, self-reported map from subjects across a wide range of cultural differences. Everyone was asked similar questions in their native language, such as what is “heartbreak” (which is metaphorical) or happiness, an actual emotional state feels like. 773 subjects were used, male and female. 

Six basic emotions were introduced: anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness and surprise, and what the researchers call seven non-basic emotions: anxiety, love, depression, contempt, pride, shame and envy. Subjects had to self-evaluate which body areas they felt activated or deactivated when feeling the emotion.


They were also given guided imagery (You are sitting at a kitchen table, the dishwasher is turned on), which is thought to evoke a “neutral” state, as well as shown movies with very simple emotional states, shown basic facial expressions, and heat maps of basic emotional states. 

For artists who uses sensors in their practice, all the way to masterly depictions in artworks of climatic emotional events, this study presents compelling information. Though not keyed to any fMri EEG, or thermographic analysis, its still a thought provoking glimpse into the embodiment of emotional states.