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Mood Maps

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Mood Maps explores the recording, mapping and sharing of people’s emotional states over a
period of time.

The idea was to devise an experimental methodology for collecting and representing quantified subjective emotional data
in an elegant and meaningful way. The system consists of a way of comparing a persons’ perceived overall mood (and its related triggers) to a more complex breakdown of emotional variables.

The idea is that a person’s perceived mood is a sum of various smaller subjectivities that operate on different levels for different people. For example, one person’s emotional state might be tied more directly to how he is feeling physically at that moment, whereas for another, a lack of intellectual stimulation might adversely effect her mood. Mapping such correlations was of interest to us as it increases one’s awareness of his/her emotional disposition.

So, we initially plot the 5 axes (based on our research) that make up a person’s overall mood (below):


The five axes that comprise a person’s mood

Participants were initially asked to mark on a scale of 1 to 6 what their over all mood felt like to be able to visualise their “perceived mood”. They were also asked to note down what they believed the trigger/reason for that was. (In orange below):


A person’s overall perceived mood plotted (with trigger noted)

Participants were then asked to record on a scale of 1 to 6 whether they were feeling emotionally anxious or calm, mentally disinterested or engaged, physically drained or energetic, appearance-wise (or any other x-factor) unattractive or attractive, and socially isolated or connected. Contextual data such as location, age, sex, and time of logging were also recorded.

These were then plotted on the above mentioned axes to visualise an individual’s “Mood Map”. (See below):


A person’s “Mood Map”

Comparing the two, we get to see how one’s perceived mood is related to the 5 axes that make up of an individual’s emotional state. In the following example, could it be inferred that the person’s slightly negative mood is probably due to a lack of mental / intellectual stimulation at work at the time of recording? (See below):


A person’s Mood Map compared to their perceived mood and it’s related trigger

Over time, it would also be possible to compare a person’s current mood to an average of their moods over a particular period (in grey below):


A person’s Mood Map compared to an average Mood Map over 10 days

We gathered data from over 50 participants and we imagined that if people would record such data on a regular basis, they would be able to understand what is affecting their moods over time. Further, the differences between initial perception of one’s emotional state and what could actually be driving it could be gaged be upon deeper reflection.


A person’s Mood Map over time


Teammate: Signe Mårbjerg Thomsen
Context: CIID’s Data Visualization class
Faculty: Golan Levin

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