Scientific article

Mapping Emotion Terms into Affective Space

Published inSwiss Journal of Psychology, vol. 75, no. 3, p. 141-148
Publication date2016

Recent empirical work on the semantics of emotion terms across many different cultures and languages, using a theoretical componential approach, suggested that four dimensions are needed to parsimoniously describe the semantic space of the emotion domain as reflected in emotion terms (Fontaine, Scherer, Roesch, & Ellsworth, 2007; Fontaine, Scherer, & Soriano, 2013). In addition to valence, power, and arousal, a novelty dimension was discovered that mostly differentiated surprise from other emotions. Here, we further explore the existence and nature of the fourth dimension in semantic emotion space using a much larger and much more representative set of emotion terms. A group of 156 participants each rated 10 out of a set of 80 French emotion terms with respect to semantic meaning. The meaning of an emotion term was evaluated with respect to 68 emotion features representing the appraisal, action tendency, bodily reaction, expression, and feeling components of the emotion process. A principal component analysis confirmed the four-dimensional valence, power, arousal, and novelty structure. Moreover, this larger and much more representative set of emotion terms revealed that the novelty dimension not only differentiates surprise terms from other emotion terms, but also identifies substantial variation within the fear and joy emotion families.

  • Emotion semantic space
  • Dimensional structure
  • Componential emotion approach
  • Novelty dimension
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
GILLIOZ, Christelle et al. Mapping Emotion Terms into Affective Space. In: Swiss Journal of Psychology, 2016, vol. 75, n° 3, p. 141–148. doi: 10.1024/1421-0185/a000180
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1421-0185

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