2. Knowledge Technologies Institute,Graz University of Technology, Austriachristina.steiner@tugraz.at1. KDEG, School of Co...
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The meaning behind smileys

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Poster from Empire 2013 Workshop at UMAP2013

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The meaning behind smileys

  1. 1. 2. Knowledge Technologies Institute,Graz University of Technology, Austriachristina.steiner@tugraz.at1. KDEG, School of Computer Science andStatistics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland{mooread,owen.conlan}@scss.tcd.ieThe research leading to these results has receivedfunding from the European Communitys SeventhFramework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under grantagreement no 257831 (ImREAL project).The Meaning Behind Smileys – An Affect Self ReportTool Based On Empirical DataAdam Moore1, Christina M. Steiner2 & Owen Conlan1Smileys (also known as Emoticons or Emoji) are regularly used to conveyemotion within internet communications.We describe an approach to utilize these well knownaffect emblems to create an interactive affect indicatorbased on empirical data.An initial analysis of nearly 1000 responses to an online survey wasconducted to try and understand the emotional content embedded withinusers’ understanding of the smileys they use.AbstractWe recruited using email and tweets. Thesurvey had demographic questions and thenasked for each of the nine smileys:What value of emotional activityand magnitude do you think thissmiley represents and what oneword do you think sums that up?996 complete replies were received in 2 months.The cohort was composed of 285 women, 700men and 11 respondents preferred not to say.Reported ages ranged from 15 to 103, with anaverage of 26.7 (SD 10.4)MethodsAn initial analysis of the survey responses showed:Real differences exist in perception of the underlyingembodiment for each of the smileys, such that they couldbe used as a self-reporting affect instrument withconfidence.There were a variety of sense words associated with each smiley, but thevariance in the number of unique words indicates that some are moresingular in what they embody than others. Conspicuously, smiley 4seemed almost universally understood as ‘Anger’.ResultsThis work allows the development of affect-related aspects of personalized services, for example, allowing those authoring TELmaterial to create material that reflects the mood of the learner, perhaps delivering additional material encouraging motivationand engagement during periods of negative valence and increasing the prevalence of material that generates a positive response.This survey has been used to develop a novel, RESTful web service to provide model-based affectreporting. Uniquely, that model is currently based on a survey of nearly 1000 respondents, allowingfor a degree of adaptation of the base responses, depending on the profile of the user.Requests for access to the anonymized data for analysis or to develop affect signal instruments should be made to thecorresponding author. You can take the survey yourself at: http://bit.ly/smILEYConclusionsSmileyBasedAffectIndicatorValence vs ArousalAffect Sense Words per Smiley

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