About the project

About the project

How will your responses be used?

Your responses will be used to better understand how emotions actually work. They will help to inform how we think about emotional wellbeing. And how it can be enhanced. Developing better social practices and support processes is complicated, but your responses to the serious ‘games’ on this website will contribute to that positive change.

Throughout your involvement in this process, your identity will be kept completely confidential unless you decide otherwise.

What are we trying to understand about emotions?

Firstly, we still don’t understand very much about the way that faces mediate human emotions. This is despite the centrality of the face in the psychological study of emotions. It especially so across different cultures. Faces are the perfect medium for engaging with people unlike ourselves. However, faces are not always easy to read and interpret. This is one of the central challenges of the present project.

Secondly, we do not understand how people today read different faces from across history. It is often said that the representation of faces from centuries ago is more opaque or less emotional. By using a more subtle barometer of emotion, we want to find out if you think that is the case.

Thirdly, we want to resist the reduction of all human experience to a small and finite number of named emotions that are said to be universal. Some researchers even say that there are only four emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted. This is based on showing people computer-generated animations of faces where the emotions attached to those faces are already pre-defined. By comparison, your open responses will contribute to understanding the range of emotions in their full complexity.