EmojiGrid: A 2D Pictorial Scale for the Assessment of Food Elicited Emotions

Alexander Toet (Corresponding Author), Daisuke Kaneko, Shota Ushiama, Sofie Hoving, Inge de Kruijf, Anne-Marie Brouwer, Victor Kallen, Jan B. F. van Erp

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    37 Citations (Scopus)
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    Research on food-experience is typically challenged by the way questions are worded. We therefore developed the EmojiGrid: a graphical (language-independent) intuitive self-report tool to measure food-related valence and arousal. In a first experiment participants rated the valence and the arousing quality of 60 food images, using either the EmojiGrid or two independent visual analog scales (VAS). The valence ratings obtained with both tools strongly agree. However, the arousal ratings only agree for pleasant food items, but not for unpleasant ones. Furthermore, the results obtained with the EmojiGrid show the typical universal U-shaped relation between the mean valence and arousal that is commonly observed for a wide range of (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory) affective stimuli, while the VAS tool yields a positive linear association between valence and arousal. We hypothesized that this disagreement reflects a lack of proper understanding of the arousal concept in the VAS condition. In a second experiment we attempted to clarify the arousal concept by asking participants to rate the valence and intensity of the taste associated with the perceived food items. After this adjustment the VAS and EmojiGrid yielded similar valence and arousal ratings (both showing the universal U-shaped relation between the valence and arousal). A comparison with the results from the first experiment showed that VAS arousal ratings strongly depended on the actual wording used, while EmojiGrid ratings were not affected by the framing of the associated question. This suggests that the EmojiGrid is largely self-explaining and intuitive. To test this hypothesis, we performed a third experiment in which participants rated food images using the EmojiGrid without an associated question, and we compared the results to those of the first two experiments. The EmojiGrid ratings obtained in all three experiments closely agree. We conclude that the EmojiGrid appears to be a valid and intuitive affective self-report tool that does not rely on written instructions and that can efficiently be used to measure food-related emotions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2396
    Number of pages21
    JournalFrontiers in psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2018


    • Affect grid
    • EmojiGrid
    • Emojis
    • Emotion measurement
    • Visual analogue scales


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