I'm a Master of Arts in Design with a specialization in Visual Commuication and a research focus on Emotion Visualization.

I'm a Master of Arts in Design with a specialization in Visual Commuication and a research focus on Emotion Visualization.


There are slight variations among experts in the definitions of terms in emotion research. Colloqial speech tends to further blur the lines of how such terms are widely used and understood. The following is a list of definitions as they are assumed and employed in my research.

Please see the list of dimensions for clarification on their descriptions.

General Terms

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Also known as “CBT” is a type of therapy, usually with brief sessions and limited to 12 weeks to 6 months. CBT is highly structured and focuses on the current emotion state of the patient. The role of the therapist is to assist the patient in finding strategies to reduce symptoms and distress associated with psychological disorders.

Communication (function of)
Ability of one human being to get his thought across to another by verbal means. Communication is the relationship between individuals in society.

The observable behavioural and physiological component of emotion. It is a measure of a person’s emotional reactivity to a stimulus. Most of these responses can be observed by other people, while some emotional responses can only be observed by the person experiencing them.

Complex collections of chemical and neural responses that are outwardly directed and public. Theses interpretations lead to changes in the nervous system and guide decision-making.

Emotion Awareness
The complexity of propositional knowledge of emotion.

Emotion Clarity
Possessing a clear, unambiguous representation of emotional feeling.

Emotion Complexity
Refers to dialecticism (experiencing positive and negative affect at the same time) and the granularity of the experience of emotion.

Emotion Differentiation
The skill of labelling experience with a high degree of specificity - sometimes defined as the skill of “identifying” or “recognizing” emotions with accuracy, at other times defined as the skill of constructing and representing experience with a high degree of granularity (fine grained distinctions)

Emotion/Affect Labels
A linguistic representation of emotions; nouns that disguise the processes. Emotions are actually verbs (i.e. love: the process of loving, fear: the process of fearing/responding to threat).

Emotional/Pathological State
A “filter” on perceptions and interpretations, affecting emotion indirectly and not causing it. A state is an expression of a basic emotion (i.e. mania or paranoia = sadness or disgust).

Emotional Intelligence
The ability to recognise one’s emotion and assess one’s judgement in order to make a prudent decision.

Emotional/Behavioral Disorder
A condition exhibiting one or more characteristics (inability to learn or build relationships, pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression, etc) to a degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

Expression (function of)
More fundamental, and a prerequisite that the function of communication. Expression is the relationship between language and thought in the individual’s linguistic act: A thought needs to be expressed verbally before it can be verbally communicated.

Inwardly directed and private awareness of qualia, experience, and emotion. Feelings, felt both consciously and nonconsciously, arise from “background emotions” like tension, sickness, energy, instability, harmony and discord. The interpretation of feelings lead to emotion.

Fight-or-Flight Response & Approach-Avoid Conflict
Occurs when an organism assesses a stimulus' (object, event) positive and negative effects or characteristics and must determine their response: whether to fight/approach or flight/avoid.

An internal, subjective state that is less specific, less intense and less likely to be triggered by a stimulus or event. Moods are consciously experienced and though internal, can be inferred by posture and other behaviours. Moods (like personality) are used as a fallback when there isn’t enough information to make a decision after estimating the stimulus (i.e. running away from something if the organism has a generally anxious disposition).

Personality (Traits)
Habitual pattern of behaviour, thought and emotion that are longer lasting than moods (i.e. optimism and neuroticism).

Psychodynamic Therapy
Also known as “Talk Therapy” is a type of therapy with brief sessions over a long period of time (6+ months). The main differences between psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are that it is less structured, the client sets the agenda, it is focused on current and past emotion history and places a focus on the client/therapist relationship.

The "felt" qualities of the Emotional experiences that an organism has. They are the simple sensory qualities found in the blueness of the sky or tone of sound of a cello and the fundamental components of the images in the movie metaphor.

Aspects of an individual’s personality that are regarded as innate as opposed to learned (i.e. introversion, extroversion).

document image


A theory which assumes that before the occurrence of an emotion, there are certain cognitive processes that analyse the stimuli. Once the stimuli (event) is estimated, emotions are extracted causing specific reactions in different people.

A theory which assumes that before analysing a perceived object, the human brain is able to invoke an emotion associated with the object. This allows the emotional process to guide (or bias) behavior and decision-making.

A theory for basic emotions developed by Robert Plutchik containing ten postulates hypothesizing that the concept of emotion applies to animals and humans on all evolutionary levels, emotions have evolved differently by species but have common elements and have served an adaptive role. Plutchik grounds the theory in that all emotions vary in similarity to ones another and vary in intensity and arousal but there are only a small number of primary emotions. The primary emotions are hypothetical constructs and can be conceptulized in terms of opposites and pairs. All other emotions are derivative states occuring as combinations or compounds of primary emotions.