Abstracts in this Pattern:
Researchers are furthering the understanding of human emotions. Neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts) have identified a neural circuit that seems to be at the core of decision-making processes that involve anxiety-inducing choices. The scientists anticipate that this discovery will have primarily medical applications; however, it could also see use in marketing applications to manipulate consumer decisions. And a team of researchers led by Marianna Obrist of the University of Sussex (Brighton, England) is developing ultrasonic technology capable of making users experience certain emotions. The fact that touching specific areas on a person's outstretched hand can make the person feel various emotions served as the foundation for the team's work.
Commercial applications may become more commonplace as knowledge grows and wearable, sensor-equipped devices proliferate. Goldsmiths, University of London (London, England), political scientist Will Davies is concerned that wearable-device manufacturers might use emotional measurement as a target application. Dr. Davies argues that "our anxiety is their revenue opportunity." For instance, InteraXon (Toronto, Canada) has developed Muse—a sensor-equipped headband that the company claims can monitor neuron activity and help users strengthen the part of the brain that relates to empathy and composure. Going a different direction, Attend (Boston, Massachusetts) cofounder Drew D'Agostino has developed Crystal—a service that uses a textual-analysis algorithm to analyze publicly available data sources to develop personality profiles for a user's coworkers and friends. The service then provides the user with suggestions about how best to communicate with those people. Unsurprisingly, the main resistance to this type of profiling comes from consumers who are concerned about privacy, even though the data Crystal leverages are publicly available. Perhaps the most direct commercial application of emotions comes from Japan, where Hiroki Terai has developed a successful series of events (rui-katsu) at which clients may cry freely in the presence of other people. The benefits of group crying include general catharsis and mood improvements.
The Development of this Pattern
Neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified a brain circuit that seems to be at the core of decision-making processes that involve anxiety-inducing choices.
A team of researchers led by Marianna Obrist of the University of Sussex is developing ultrasonic technology capable of making users experience certain emotions.
Hiroki Terai has developed a successful series of events (rui-katsu) at which clients may cry freely in the presence of other people. The benefits of group crying include general catharsis and mood improvements.
New research and business models suggest that companies may increasingly leverage emotions for commercial purposes.
- SoC019 — Emotion Recognition (July 2003)
Researchers are making progress at quantifying an increasing number of physiological traits associated with the most basic human emotions. Machines that can measure those traits will be able to recognize the presence of particular emotions.
- SoC312 — Engineering Affective Consumer Experiences (June 2008)
In order to differentiate products and build strong connections with users, companies and their product developers are exploring affective or emotional components in products and services that go well beyond the traditional branding appeal to consumer emotions.
- SoC340 — Emotion Interfaces (November 2008)
Human–machine interfaces have been a crucial element in creating market success for digital and electronic devices and appliances. Now, novel interfaces are tackling the last frontier: reading, responding to, communicating, or generating emotional reactions and feelings.
- SoC421 — Leveraging Employees' Emotions (February 2010)
The ability to recognize and leverage employees' emotions can be critical to an organization's success.
- P0040 — Emoting Is Decision Making (April 2010)
Companies that manage consumer emotions directly can often generate more trust and commitment from consumers than can companies that just manage contents of products and services without paying attention to consumer emotions.
- P0332 — Deepening Understanding of Emotion (April 2012)
Emotions drive human decision making, but research into developing a workable understanding of emotions and identifying factors that influence them still seems to be at a fairly early stage.
- SoC715 — Progress in Emotion Recognition (March 2014)
Emotion-recognition technology is becoming a commercial reality. Potential applications are widespread.
- SoC808 — Understanding the Dark Side of Motivation (July 2015)
New findings from the social sciences explain why people might behave unethically or ignore powerful social norms.