Researchers Creating Database of Photos That Elicit Human Emotions
Researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium are embarking on an interesting mission, and they need the help of willing photographers. What they’re attempting to do is create a database of photos based on how they make the viewer feel. The project and website, dubbed Pictures With Feelings, can then be used to further our knowledge about human emotion and how specific moods come about. Where you folks come is in providing the most emotionally stimulating images buried in your archives.
In order to create such a database, we need a large number of pictures that can be used to elicit or communicate feelings ranging from feeling very bad, over neutral, to very good, and ranging from feeling very passive to feeling very active.
You can contribute to this project by uploading your own pictures to this website. All types of pictures all welcome: pictures of people (emotional expressions, actions,…), animals, scenes (nature, city skylines,…) and objects.
The picture set will be complete as soon as we have fully covered the so-called valence-arousal space. Allow me to briefly explain this. Emotions can be said to differ along two dimensions (see figure below): valence (ranging from negative to positive) and arousal (ranging from passive to active). This gives rise to four quadrants, and a neutral point at the crossing of both dimensions. We would like to ask you to situate your picture(s) in this emotional space by rating the level of valence and arousal that you think the picture will elicit in people looking at it, i.e.,
|– a picture depicting a huge spider is likely to evoke a feeling of fear and is therefore situated within the left upper quadrant (negative valence – high arousal).- a picture depicting a sleepy kitten is likely to evoke relaxation and contentment and is therefore situated within the right lower quadrant (positive valence – low arousal)|