About the project

About the project

How does the Circles of Emotion approach work?

Emotions are a core foundation of what makes us human. But they are notoriously difficult to describe and analyse. Moreover, each emotion needs to be understood as part of a person’s whole emotional response. They need to be considered in relation to each other.

Circles of Emotion is an approach to human emotions that facilitates an understanding of such complexity. It identifies a manageable set of emotions, and organises them around a circle of four domains: bright, quiet, heavy, and sombre. Using this circle, we ask you to identify the emotions that you see present in faces from across the globe and throughout history. You can attribute as many emotions, or as few, as you see in a particular face or encounter.

Your responses will be mapped on the circle and compared with those of others around the world of similar or different age, gender and cultural background.

Circles of emotion