emotions matter

Why should anyone care about emotions?  

Emotion is the cornerstone of human experience–rich and complex–and the foundation of motivation and behavior.  

The complexity and variety of terms and ideas about emotion–including scientific theories about what emotions are, how they work, and what importance they have–can be bewildering*, but one thing is clear: people care about emotions. They experience them, often want to share them, and are keenly interested in others’ emotions as well.  

This concern for emotion extends beyond  your personal relationships, to business considerations, scientific endeavors, and healthcare concerns. But tools for expressing, capturing, and measuring emotion have been limited in too many ways. They’ve lacked sophistication, validity, consistency, and utility.  

All too often, those methods have led to confusion, misunderstanding, and mistakes.

But there are so many ways to express emotion, and business has been interested in sentiment for many years, right?

People can use words to try to communicate emotions, but as most of us have observed, words can be easily misunderstood, especially in a medium like texting, which lacks tone. Emoji have come on terrifically strong in recent years as a way to augment or even replace words. But emoji are also surprisingly easy to misinterpret, meaning different things to different people, and show up wildly differently across platforms.

Somewhere between words and emoji, there are five-star rating systems, “thumbs-up” icons, and Likert-scale ratings (you know, the old “Extremely Negative, Neutral, Extremely Positive” method that asks you to assign numbers to your feelings).  

These methods are limited, imprecise, boring, or all three. And sentiment, though useful, represents only the positive or negative valence of emotions – not the specifics.  Let’s say you are disappointed with a business’s service or policy. Though this would be represented as negative sentiment, it is very different than feeling disgusted, which is also a negative sentiment. However, these emotions motivate us differently and a business would approach each customer differently.

What is the solution?  

The Morphii platform addresses all these concerns. It provides clear indications of specific emotions that are distinct from one another by their labels and by the facial expressions they represent, which are modeled after actual human muscle movements according to the psychologist Paul Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System. The “core six” morphiis, in fact, are consistent with the six basic emotions identified by Dr. Ekman (anger, sadness, fear, happiness, surprise, and disgust), and other morphiis are flexible enough to represent other models of emotion as well (e.g. Robert Plutchik, PhD), as well as moods, sentiments, and emotion-infused attitudes.

These characteristics make them superior to emoji, which were not designed around any particular model of emotions or even, in most cases, designed to express any particular emotion at all, much less degrees of intensity.

Like emoji, they are more intuitive and engaging than Likert scales and five-star ratings that require people to assign numbers of one sort or another to their feelings.

But unlike emoji, morphiis are standardized  across devices and operating systems, for much greater consistency in interpretation.  

With morphiis, the data (quantification of type and intensity) occurs out of sight, while people simply “dial in” the type and intensity of their emotions by looking at a sort of mirror for their feelings.  

morphiis are clear, concise, and largely independent of cultural influences, even while they provide unprecedented levels of precision in an engaging, fun-to-use format.  

*Even the term “emotion” is often used in highly varied ways.  For simplicity, we use the term to refer to enduring moods, momentary feelings, affects, and emotion-infused attitudes, such as “satisfaction,” “approval,” and “optimism,” to name just a few.