Thursday, June 01, 2006

Emotional Forecasting

About a year ago I had the idea to create an interactive tool that would enable you to create an emotional forecast.

Pensive with a chance of malaise later in the afternoon.

Pissed off with no hope of letting up all week.

The tool would then publish the forecast to your blog, run it as the message in IM below your handle or attach it your email signature. I actually started to design facial expression icons to go along with the forecast. The icons I designed were based on the How do I Feel Today? chart that psychologists developed to help people learn to identify their feelings (below).



The real fun would start once enough people around the world were using it. You could map trends in emotions around the world. You could monitors the ever-present sense of dissatisfaction in America or watch worry and fear spread throughout the Middle-East in response to news events.

Like most of my ideas it didn't get very far along in the implementation process. A few months later I saw the Mood Tracker widget. Then I did some goggling and found that I wasn't the first person in the world to think about global mood monitoring. The problem however is that most of the people doing the work are from psychology or computer science background so the implementation is usually hack and ugly.

This morning I came across We Feel Fine.
We Feel Fine tacks and visualizes emotional trends by scanning the text of blogs and identifying statements about feelings.
The data is visualized in a number of interesting ways on the site. The images below are 2 screen captures from the site.



To finish here is an NPR story with the author of 'Stumbling on Happiness; Joy's Guessing Game, Daniel Gilbert. Apparently, humans aren't very good at predicting what will make them happy.

1 comment:

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The creation of this emotional forecasting tool is very nice! It is surprising that it's always right