Emotional responses elicited by consumer products are difficult to verbalize because their nature is subtle (low intensity) and often miemotional response at the same time). As a result, these emotions are difficult to measure with verbal questionnaires. Instead of relying on the use of words, respondents can report their emotions with the use of cartoon drawings of facial expressions. The Emofaces can be used in internet surveys, formal interviews, and in qualitative interviews.


In response to a stimulus, respondents are invited to select one or more faces that best express their feelings. The scale consists of eight paper cards, each card depicting a face (both in a male and in a female version). Each face represents one of the octants of the ‘circumplex of emotions’ (Russell, 1980), a two-dimensional model of emotions. In that way, the faces represent emotions ranging between pleasant and unpleasant, and between intense and calm. After selecting a face, the respondent can be invited to describe the emotional response that is expressed.


Emofaces is nonverbal and therefore applicable in any culture. It is quick to administer. In addition, it does not require the participants to split their affective report in terms of a pleasantness and arousal dimension. 


The Emofaces measure pleasantness and intensity; on the basis of the data, it cannot be inferred what particular emotion was experienced. 

References describing the method

Desmet, P.M.A., Overbeeke, C.J. & Tax, S.J.E.T. (2001). Designing products with added emotional value: development and application of an approach for research through design. The Design Journal, 4(1), 32-47. 

Other references: 
Bradley, M.M. & Lang, P.J. (1994). Measuring Emotion: The self-assessment manikin and the semantic differential. Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 25, 49-59. 
Mehrabian, A. (1995). Framework for a comprehensive description and measurement of emotional states. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 121, 339-361. 
Russell, J.A. (1980). A circumplex model of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(6), 1161-1178. 


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