The EmojiGrid as a Tool to Assess Experienced and Perceived Emotions

Alexander Toet*, Johannes Bernardus Fransiscus van Erp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In a recent study on food-evoked emotions, we observed that people often misunderstood the currently available affective self-report tools. We, therefore, developed a new intuitive and language-independent self-report instrument called the EmojiGrid: a rectangular response grid labeled with facial icons (emoji) that express different degrees of valence and arousal. We found that participants intuitively and reliably reported their affective appraisal of food by clicking on the EmojiGrid, even without verbal instructions. In this study, we investigated whether the EmojiGrid can also serve as a tool to assess one’s own (experienced) emotions and perceived emotions of others. In the first experiment, participants (N = 90) used the EmojiGrid to report their own emotions, evoked by affective images from a database with corresponding normative ratings (obtained with a 9-point self-assessment mannikin scale). In the second experiment, participants (N = 61) used the EmojiGrid to report the perceived emotional state of persons shown in different affective situations, in pictures from a database with corresponding normative ratings (obtained with a 7-point Likert scale). For both experiments, the affective (valence and arousal) ratings obtained with the EmojiGrid show excellent agreement with the data provided in the literature (intraclass correlations of at least 0.90). Also, the relation between valence and arousal shows the classic U-shape at the group level. Thus, the EmojiGrid appears to be a useful graphical self-report instrument for the assessment of evoked and perceived emotions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1010036
Pages (from-to)469-481
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2019


  • EmojiGrid
  • Nencki Affective Picture System (NAPS)
  • PiSCES picture database
  • emoji
  • valence
  • arousal


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