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Testing Your Emotions

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My presentation from Nordic Testing Days 2014. Learn how your emotions play an important part in your success as a team member, how you can understand them better, and how you can use this to make you a better software tester.

Published in: Technology

Testing Your Emotions

  1. 1. TESTING YOUR EMOTIONS AND HOW YOU CAN APPLY SOME PERSONAL LEADERSHIP TO KEEP THEM UNDER CONTROL… © Stephen Janaway 2014
  2. 2. WHO AM I? STEPHEN JANAWAY •  14 years experience in mobile software testing. •  Software testing and test management. •  Main focus on the mobile device and applications area. •  Have worked for companies such as Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia. www.stephenjanaway.co.uk @stephenjanaway © Stephen Janaway 2014
  3. 3. THANKS TO…. •  Robert Plutchik. •  Hugo Lövheim. •  Jerry Weinberg. •  Michael Bolton. •  And many more…. •  And some cats. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  4. 4. WHY? BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT UNDERSTANDING OUR EMOTIONS MAKES US BETTER TESTERS © Stephen Janaway 2014
  5. 5. EMOTIONS ARE BASIC HUMAN RESPONSES © Stephen Janaway 2014
  6. 6. WE ALL EXPERIENCE EMOTIONS © Stephen Janaway 2014
  7. 7. EMOTIONS CAN HAVE A POWERFUL IMPACT ON MEMORY © Stephen Janaway 2014
  8. 8. WITHOUT EMOTION, WE DON’T REASON WELL. ANTONIO DAMASIO, “THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS”. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  9. 9. FRUSTRATION – A PERSONAL STORY © Stephen Janaway 2014
  10. 10. WHAT ARE EMOTIONS? The word "emotion" dates back to 1579, when it was adapted from the French word émouvoir, which means "to stir up". However, the earliest precursors of the word likely dates back to the very origins of language. Wikipedia © Stephen Janaway 2014
  11. 11. WHAT ARE EMOTIONS? •  Discrete and consistent responses to internal or external events which have a particular significance for the organism. •  Brief in duration and consist of a coordinated set of responses, which may include verbal, physiological, behavioral, and neural mechanisms. •  Biologically given and a result of evolution because they provided good solutions to ancient and recurring problems that faced our ancestors. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  12. 12. WHAT AREN’T THEY? •  Feelings - a subjective representation of emotions, private to the individual experiencing them. •  Moods - diffuse affective states that generally last for much longer durations than emotions and are also usually less intense than emotions. •  Affects - a term that describe the topics of emotion, feelings, and moods together. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  13. 13. HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND? •  Think about the last time you received an emotional response - How did it make you feel? •  Think about the last time you felt “emotional” - Why was it? How did it make you feel? Did you try and hide it? © Stephen Janaway 2014
  14. 14. SO WHAT ABOUT THESE? Source: Kerr Photography - http://www.flickr.com/photos/23992930@N04/4633061196/ © Stephen Janaway 2014
  15. 15. OR THIS? Source: Michelle Tribe - http://www.flickr.com/photos/37539977@N00/3203922211/ © Stephen Janaway 2014
  16. 16. ORIGINS Illustration from Charles Darwin's “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals”. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  17. 17. WE NEED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND OUR EMOTIONS © Stephen Janaway 2014
  18. 18. EMOTIONAL MODELS CAN HELP US •  There is no agreed-upon method to organize emotions. •  There is no agreed-upon method to name emotions. •  There are levels of intensity to emotions. •  Emotions seem to somehow blend together to form new emotions that are distinct from their progenitors. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  19. 19. ROBERT PLUTCHIK WHEEL OF EMOTION © Stephen Janaway 2014
  20. 20. 10 POSTULATES FROM PLUTCHIK •  The concept of emotion is applicable to all evolutionary levels and applies to all animals including humans. •  Emotions have an evolutionary history and have evolved various forms of expression in different species. •  Emotions served an adaptive role in helping organisms deal with key survival issues posed by the environment. •  Despite different forms of expression of emotions in different species, there are certain common elements, or prototype patterns, that can be identified. •  There is a small number of basic, primary, or prototype emotions. •  All other emotions are mixed or derivative states; that is, they occur as combinations, mixtures, or compounds of the primary emotions. •  Primary emotions are hypothetical constructs or idealized states whose properties and characteristics can only be inferred from various kinds of evidence. •  Primary emotions can be conceptualized in terms of pairs of polar opposites. •  All emotions vary in their degree of similarity to one another. •  Each emotion can exist in varying degrees of intensity or levels of arousal. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  21. 21. ROBERT PLUTCHIK ‘Basic’ emotions arranged as opposing pairs Basic Emotion Emotional Opposite Joy Sadness Trust Disgust Fear Anger Surprise Anticipation © Stephen Janaway 2014
  22. 22. FEELINGS = RESULT OF EMOTIONS Human Feelings Emotions Opposite Optimism Anticipation + Joy Disapproval Love Joy + Trust Remorse Submission Trust + Fear Contempt Awe Fear + Surprise Aggression Disapproval Surprise + Sadness Optimism Remorse Sadness + Disgust Love Contempt Disguest + Anger Submission Aggressiveness Anger + Anticipation Awe © Stephen Janaway 2014
  23. 23. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  24. 24. WHY I LIKE THIS Plutchik’s approach gives us: •  A well organised, standardised and consistent set of distinct emotions. •  Visibly represented levels of intensity in emotions. •  Blending of primary emotions to form new ones. •  The concept of emotional “opposites” as mutually exclusive pairs. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  25. 25. SOME EXAMPLES Sylvia has just returned home from the grocery store to find her door smashed in and splintered. Her arms are full of groceries. What emotions would she experience? •  Surprise and Anger over the state of her door. •  Anticipation that an intruder might still lurk inside. •  Fear and very likely Terror (Intense Fear) that she will meet the intruder. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  26. 26. SOME EXAMPLES You rely on your iPhone as an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning. There is a daylight saving time bug and suddenly one morning your alarm does not go off. •  Surprise that your alarm has not gone off. •  Apprehension and Fear that you will be late for work. •  Annoyance, and Anger, that the bug existed. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  27. 27. SOME EXAMPLES Your favourite band are coming to town. Unfortunately for you they are also the favourite band of a lot of other people. The tickets go on-sale online and when you try and purchase them the site is overloaded and crashes. •  Anger and Rage (Intense Anger) that you cannot buy the tickets. •  Fear that you will not be able to see the band. •  Sadness if you don’t get tickets. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  28. 28. SOME EXAMPLES You find what you think is one of the best bugs you have ever found. You proudly log it in almost infinite detail in JIRA and proudly bring it to your PO. “That’s a minor issue, we will assign that to the backlog” is the response. •  Surprise that the PO thinks the bug is minor. •  Anger and maybe Rage (Intense Anger) that it did not get accepted. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  29. 29. SOME EXAMPLES You receive software for testing from a developer, and basic functionality doesn’t work. Again. You march over to them and cry “Your software is rubbish. Again. Why can’t you just test it first!” •  You may feel Anger towards the developer. •  The developer may feel: •  Surprise – why is this tester talking to me? •  Fear – maybe your anger is too strong? •  Anger – if you are questioning their work. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  30. 30. SOME EXAMPLES Your team successfully launches version 1 of your new product into the market and first day usage statistics indicate you’ve got a hit on your hands. You all celebrate. •  Joy and Ecstasy because the job has been well done. •  Trust and Admiration (Intense Trust) towards each other. •  Surprise and Amazement (Intense Surprise)? J © Stephen Janaway 2014
  31. 31. HUGO LÖVHEIM CUBE OF EMOTION © Stephen Janaway 2014
  32. 32. LÖVHEIM CUBE OF EMOTION The relationship between the monoamine neurotransmitters and the emotions. How your brain works chemically and the emotions you experience as a result. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  33. 33. LÖVHEIM CUBE OF EMOTION © Stephen Janaway 2014
  34. 34. LÖVHEIM CUBE OF EMOTION Basic Emotion Seratonin Dopamine Noradreneline Shame/ Humiliation Low Low Low Distress/ Anguish Low Low High Fear/ Terror Low High Low Anger/ Rage Low High High Contempt/ Disgust High Low Low Surprise High Low High Enjoyment/ Joy High High Low Interest/ Excitement High High High © Stephen Janaway 2014
  35. 35. IS IT BETTER? •  It’s different. •  It could help to explain the link between the chemical make-up of the brain and emotion. Note - The validity of the model remains empirically unverified. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  36. 36. SOME EXAMPLES – BACK TO SYLVIA AGAIN Outrage (Surprise + Anger) over the state of her door, Anticipation that an intruder might still lurk inside, Fear and very likely Terror (Intense Fear) that she will meet the intruder. Seratonin Dopamine Noradreneline Basic Emotion Low High High Anger/ Rage Low High Low Fear/ Terror High Low High Surprise © Stephen Janaway 2014
  37. 37. SOME EXAMPLES – YOUR TEAM HIT THAT DEADLINE Joy and Ecstasy because the job has been well done. Trust and Admiration (Intense Trust) towards each other. Surprise and Amazement (Intense Surprise). Seratonin Dopamine Noradreneline Basic Emotion High High High Trust/ Admiration High Low High Surprise/ Amazement High High Low Joy/ Ecstasy © Stephen Janaway 2014
  38. 38. WHAT ABOUT THE EMOTIONS YOU FEEL WHEN TESTING? © Stephen Janaway 2014
  39. 39. IS THERE A PROBLEM HERE? MICHAEL BOLTON – “EMOTIONS IN SOFTWARE TESTING” © Stephen Janaway 2014
  40. 40. ? © Stephen Janaway 2014
  41. 41. ? © Stephen Janaway 2014
  42. 42. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  43. 43. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  44. 44. SOMETIMES IT JUST DOESN’T SMELL RIGHT… © Stephen Janaway 2014
  45. 45. FEELINGS -> EMOTIONS -> TESTING © Stephen Janaway 2014
  46. 46. “FEELINGS EXIST. FEELINGS ARE FACTS… IF YOU CAN’T STAND DEALING WITH FEELINGS AS FACTS, THEN YOUR OWN FEELINGS ARE GETTING IN THE WAY OF YOUR SUCCESS. AND IF THAT’S NOT TOUCHY-FEELY, WHAT IS?” JERRY WEINBERG © Stephen Janaway 2014
  47. 47. BUT BE AWARE OF EMOTIONAL BIASES © Stephen Janaway 2014
  48. 48. SO….. •  Understanding emotions can help us: •  Understand how we act. •  Understand how we should act. •  Emotional models can help: •  Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotion. •  Löheim’s Cube of Emotion. •  Feeling’s are a powerful testing heuristic: •  If you feel something when testing then act on it. © Stephen Janaway 2014
  49. 49. EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS ARE SIGNALS. LOOK INTO WHAT THEY’RE SIGNALING. MICHAEL BOLTON © Stephen Janaway 2014
  50. 50. QUESTIONS “YOU MUST BE THE MASTER OF YOUR EMOTIONS IF YOU WISH TO LIVE IN PEACE, FOR HE WHO CAN CONTROL HIMSELF, BECOMES FREE.” STEPHEN JANAWAY @stephenjanaway www.stephenjanaway.co.uk © Stephen Janaway 2014

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