Because of the globalization of world food markets there is a growing need for valid and language independent self-assessment tools to measure food-related emotions. We recently introduced the EmojiGrid as a language-independent, graphical affective self-report tool. The EmojiGrid is a Cartesian grid that is labeled with facial icons (emoji) expressing different degrees of valence and arousal. Users can report their subjective ratings of valence and arousal by marking the location on the area of the grid that corresponds to the emoji that best represent their affective state when perceiving a given food or beverage. In a previous study we found that the EmojiGrid is robust, self-explaining and intuitive: valence and arousal ratings were independent of framing and verbal instructions. This suggests that the EmojiGrid may be a valuable tool for cross-cultural studies. To test this hypothesis, we performed an online experiment in which respondents from Germany (GE), Japan (JP), the Netherlands (NL) and the United Kingdom (UK) rated valence and arousal for 60 different food images (covering a large part of the affective space) using the EmojiGrid. The results show that the nomothetic relation between valence and arousal has the well-known U-shape for all groups. The European groups (GE, NL and UK) closely agree in their overall rating behavior. Compared to the European groups, the Japanese group systematically gave lower mean arousal ratings to low valenced images and lower mean valence ratings to high valenced images. These results agree with known cultural response characteristics. We conclude that the EmojiGrid is potentially a valid and language-independent affective self-report tool for cross-cultural research on food-related emotions. It reliably reproduces the familiar nomothetic U-shaped relation between valence and arousal across cultures, with shape variations reflecting established cultural characteristics.
- Emotion measurement