Proceedings: GI 2012

Creating and interpreting abstract visualizations of emotion

Brett Taylor, Regan Mandryk

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2012: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 28 - 30 May 2012, 61-68

  • BibTex

    author = {Taylor, Brett and Mandryk, Regan},
    title = {Creating and interpreting abstract visualizations of emotion},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2012},
    series = {GI 2012},
    year = {2012},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-4503-1420-6},
    location = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {61--68},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


People use non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and tonal variations in speech, to help communicate emotion; however, these cues are not always available in computer-supported environments. Without emotional cues, we can have difficulty communicating and relating to others. In this paper, we develop and evaluate a system for creating abstract visualizations of emotion using arousal and valence. Through two user studies, we show that without prior training, people can naturally understand the represented emotion conveyed by the visualization.