Visualizing Data - Week 4



I am interested in the representation of data that is subjective, more specifically within the realm of emotions. I did some research on data visualization and was inspired by Plutchik's wheel of emotion.


Plutchik establishes eight basic emotions; joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger and anticipation. This model acts as a three dimensional model for the eight basic emotions and moving through the scale, each emotions intensity increases or lessens.

Plutchik's Wheel of Emotion

Similar but different from Plutchicks was the Geneva Emotion Wheel with 20 set emotions instead of eight. There is also options for no emotion or other emotions to be felt which allows for the person to have something that they feel falls outside of what is established on the wheel.




Every data visualization should convey in some way the unique characteristics of the data it seeks to represent. With something as subjective as emotions, that can very depending on each person. I attempted to visualize various emotions through the color spectrum. This was only my first attempt at it and in no way an exhaustive approach ( I plan to continue this further into my final project).


I used my own eight emotions that I felt applied more towards me as a starting point. These were anxiety, stress, exhaustion, anger, contentment, love, gratitude and joy. Each emotion was associated to a certain color similar to the wheel above. The darker red and blue colors associated with the stressful and angry emotions and the lighter yellow and green associated with the happier emotions.


I concentrated more on the color aspect rather than the form. For the form, each was the same, a circle and depending on the intensity the circle would grow.


Unfortunately along the way I broke some bit of code I couldn't find, which didn't allow me to submit more log entries. Something happened with the submit button where now hitting it, didn't allow the entry to go through. I had no idea what had happened because earlier this was not a problem for me. I think it must be some sort of small mistake somewhere I can't seem to locate.


For my final project, I hope to continue this exploration, but with organic forms that represent different emotions. I also want to go deeper into research on color associations with emotion. I think this is an interesting topic, but also one that varies amongst the individual as well as country.


General questions I have that I would like to look more into:

1. How do you track emotions accurately?

2. How do you quantify something subjective?

3. How do you visualize this in a meaningful way?

3. Free form vs. choosing a set of options. What about both?

4. What should you track? Which emotions? What is normal?

5. Does color convey emotions? Are they consistent?


I hope to be able to establish tracking emotions as an attempt to form a connection towards mindfulness and emotional awareness.