morphii science

What makes morphiis different?

What are morphiis?

We use the term “morphiis” to refer to digitally-rendered graphical user interfaces (GUIs) comprised of facial expressions that represent subjective experiences including, but not necessarily limited to, emotions, feelings, affects, moods, sentiments, attitudes, judgments, and opinions.  They combine the attributes of affect displays and visual analogue scales in digital form, and they reflect scientific contributions from the fields of cognitive science, neuropsychology, affect theory, and computer science.  They are rendered via proprietary, patent-pending software that provides for their generation, display, data production, storage, reporting, and data analysis.  These can be selected and adjusted to specify types and intensities of those subjective experiences by end users, yielding scalable, quantified data for analysis.


How do morphiis work?

The morphii graphical displays, being comprised of facial expressions, stimulate subjective experiences of familiarity to the degree they resemble, or fail to resemble, specific states of experience, via what we refer to as resonance, which we believe to be related to experiences of mirroring, familiar to us from attachment theory.  The experience of resonance (familiarity) to greater and lesser degrees, is understood theoretically via the operations of visual perception system(s) for color, shape, movement, contrast, discrimination, etc., along with memory systems (recognition, recall; explicit, implicit; episodic, semantic; etc.), and imaginal systems. Theoretically, these are predicated upon theory of mind operations and empathy, possibly via invocation of a mirror neuron system.

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How are morphiis distinct from other ways to capture or measure emotions?

The Morphii Platform stores and reports in real-time, self-report data representing the type of experience selected and the intensity registered, without requiring users to try to quantify their own degree of how much they feel a given subjective state, as is the case with Likert response type scales and 5-star rating systems.  Furthermore, because they are standardized across applications and other platforms in which they are embedded, they avoid the chaos inherent in emoji, which are not consistently labeled with any specific emotion type identifiers, modifiable for intensity, constructed upon any consistent underlying theory of emotion, or even consistently rendered across one operating system to another.  Finally, morphii are more clear as a method for representing specific types and intensities of subjective experiences than are text analytics technologies – commonly referred to as text-scraping – which are fraught with error when it comes to identifying specific feelings, and particularly their intensities.

Why do emotions matter?

Our experiences include moods, emotions, feelings, and other “affective states” but also other subjective experiences, such as physical pain, attitudes, and opinions.  Feelings and emotions are, for the most part, the cornerstone of all experience – the color of our being in the world.  Not only that, but they’re the foundations of our motivations, and ultimately, our behaviors.  They’re fundamental to our capacities to know what is important, in what ways, and to what extents, to make decisions, and to connect with others.  Modern research suggests that emotions are not the opposite of reason, but instead, that we practically can’t make any decision without their vital influence.  There is evidence to suggest that data pertaining to specific emotions can be more informative for various purposes than are data pertaining to sentiment alone.

Which emotions matter most?

Debate exists as to which emotions are most important, and indeed, whether and to what degree any should be considered universal or even “basic”.  However, one line of research, focused on visible facial displays, originated in the 1960’s with and continuing to this day under the guidance of a psychologist, Paul Ekman, has generated a considerable body of evidence to suggest that at least a few, anger, sadness, fear, happiness, disgust, and surprise, stand as primary candidates for universality.  Ira J. Roseman has proposed a model of 17 “core” emotions that are not necessarily identifiable via distinct facial expressions, but which he believes are tied to specific and distinct motivational and behavioral valances.  Cognitive scientists, using Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System and computerized investigational methods, have proposed a set of 21 emotions that include the six “universal” ones proposed by Ekman, but which also include additional basic and “compound” emotional expressions.