This week in Rest of You we took a look at the rest of us and build a machine to expose our intuitive prejudices, and induce empathy with people with different intuitions. I decided to build upon my PComp final – the Wall Hanging Mood Ring.
This is a simple CNC routed mirror frame with 3 layers of diffused acrylic and a one way mirror out the outside. There are 6 meters of LED strip coiled behind it all attached to a TMP36 temperature sensor. As body heat increases and decreases, the colors of the LED string go through the color spectrum changing the color of the person’s reflection.
As we’ve been studying different ways to monitor and display autonomic bodily processes I’ve been interested in ways of integrating those in the the mood ring so that the color displays the entire emotional state. This led me to the work of Robert Plutchik and his theory of emotion.
Plutchik’s psychoevolutionary theory of basic emotions has ten postulates.
- 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.
From this he created a color coded wheel of emotion in both 2D and 3D form.
I’m proposing an implant or wearable that color codes the wearers emotional state. This will give everyone complete transparency and provide ways for people to employ mood management theory and navigate the social world to find the experiences that would be the most beneficial for them. It will also help them avoid those that wish to harm or are in a negative or different emotional state. It has other benefits such as help those with developmental insufficiencies to ready emotional state such as children or those with autism.
Once you have experienced a color on your own you will have achieved empathy with others who have obtained the same color level regardless of whether or not you have experienced the same specific event. This will help bridge the gap between sympathy and true empathy.
Of course this would be susceptible to tampering and manipulation, but it also provides self feedback for you to try to alter your emotional state. But it would be interesting to see signs saying “You Must Be This Calm to Enter” or “You Must Be This Vigilant to Leave”