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A Visual Guide to Human Emotion – Visual Capitalist

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visual guide to human emotion
Despite vast differences in culture around the world, humanity’s DNA is 99.9% similar.
There are few attributes more central and universal to the human experience than our emotions. Of course, the broad spectrum of emotions we’re capable of experiencing can be difficult to articulate. That’s where this brilliant visualization by the Junto Institute comes in.
This circular visualization is the latest in an ongoing attempt to neatly categorize the full range of emotions in a logical way.
Our understanding has come a long way since William James proposed four basic emotions – fear, grief, love, and rage—though these core emotions still form much of the foundation for current frameworks.
The wheel visualization above identifies six root emotions:
From these six emotions, more nuanced descriptions emerge, such as jealousy as a subset of anger, and awe-struck as a subset of surprise. In total, there are 102 second- and third-order emotions listed on this emotion wheel.
The concept of mapping the range of human emotions on a wheel picked up traction in the 1980s, and has evolved ever since.
One of these original concepts was developed by American psychologist Robert Plutchik, who mapped eight primary emotions—anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy. These “high survival value” emotions were believed to be the most useful in keeping our ancient ancestors alive.
plutchik emotion wheel
Another seminal graphic concept was developed by author Dr. Gloria Willcox. This version of the emotions wheel has spawned dozens of similar designs, as people continue to try to improve on the concept.
willcox feelings wheel
The more we research human emotion, the more nuanced our understanding becomes in terms of how we react to the world around us.
Researchers at UC Berkeley used 2,185 short video clips to elicit emotions from study participants. Study participants rated the videos using 27 dimensions of self-reported emotional experience, and the results were mapped in an incredible interactive visualization. It is interesting to note that some video clips garnered a wide array of responses, while other clips elicit a near unanimous emotional response.
Here are some example videos and the distribution of responses:
reported emotional reaction to video clips
The data visualization clusters these types of videos together, giving us a unique perspective on how people respond to certain types of stimuli.
Much like emotion itself, our desire to understand and classify the world around us is powerful and uniquely human.
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What goes on in the mind of Elon Musk, the world’s richest person? We analyzed over 15,000 of his tweets to find out.
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Elon Musk is known for many things, but one of his most buzzworthy claims to fame is his online Twitter presence.
Because of its candid nature, Musk’s Twitter feed provides the public with a unique opportunity to catch an unfiltered look into his eccentric mind.
What can we learn from an in-depth look at Elon Musk’s Twitter feed? What subjects does he focus on the most, and how has his Twitter use changed over the past decade?
We sifted through his entire tweet history to find out.
To gain a high-level understanding of Musk’s Twitter profile, our research team sifted through his entire Twitter feed and compiled 15,000 of his tweets into a comprehensive dataset.
Why go to all the effort? Here are a few reasons why we spent months sifting through Elon Musk’s Twitter feed:
Because of the above, we thought digging into the depths of Elon Musk’s Twitter feed was a worthy pursuit. Below, we’ll get into our methodology, and how we went about analyzing the mountains of tweets.
Once we scraped a decade worth of Elon Musk tweets, we dug through the data and sorted the information to answer two main questions:
To answer the first question, we sorted Elon’s tweets into categories (based on keywords) and ranked each category based on the volume of mentions.
The results are visualized in the circle chart in the middle of the graphic, which shows Musk’s most tweeted subjects over the last decade.
To answer our second question (how has Elon’s Twitter activity changed over the years) we sorted Elon’s feed into three main topics—Tesla, SpaceX, and everything else—and showed which topics dominated his feed each year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that the two main things Elon talks about the most are Tesla and SpaceX. He’s mentioned both companies consistently over the last decade, and as the timeline shows, Tesla and SpaceX take turns in the spotlight, depending on what’s going on for the companies at the time.
While the topics and themes of his content have remained fairly consistent, the frequency of tweets has grown over the years.
Musk now uses Twitter very consistently, tweeting at least once on all but 14 days in 2021. His follower count has growth steadily over the years too:
elon musk twitter follower growth
As the above graphic shows, his follower growth started to escalate between late 2017 and mid-2018 as Musk began to burst into the public consciousness. Why? A lot was happening both personally and professionally for the busy founder:
No matter how outlandish or shocking his comments have been, Musk’s companies continue to see success, and people have continued to show interest in keeping up with the founder’s thoughts—and dank memes—on Twitter.
In the next section below, we’ll cover some of Elon’s most iconic Twitter moments, hand-selected by our research team.
Elon Musk’s first real tweet was shared in 2010. Prior to that, someone was pretending to be him and using the Twitter handle @elonmusk to tweet random and controversial things.
Luckily, the imposter didn’t gain much traction, and the real Elon Musk cleared the air on June 4, 2010, with a tweet announcing his authentic arrival onto the platform:


Please ignore prior tweets, as that was someone pretending to be me 🙂 This is actually me.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2010

After this initial tweet, Musk didn’t tweet again until the end of 2011, though his account was still verified that year. His Twitter activity remained relatively low until 2012.
In May 2012, Musk went to Twitter to share his excitement after the Dragon spacecraft successfully returned home.

Splashdown successful!! Sending fast boat to Dragon lat/long provided by P3 tracking planes #Dragon
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2012

This landing made history, as SpaceX became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
The engagement on this tweet highlights how much larger Musk’s audience is today. The tweet above, which is highlighting some very exciting news, only has about 350 retweets.
In late 2017, Musk started selling Boring Company merchandise, mostly as a joke. But products were selling, and Elon decided to take things one step further, and announced to Twitter that he’d release a Boring Company flamethrower if 50,000 Boring branded hats sold:

After 50k hats, we will start selling The Boring Company flamethrower
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2017

The hats did sell out, so true to his word, Musk released a limited edition flamethrower at $500 bucks apiece. All 20,000 units sold out.
In August 2018, Musk told Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private, at $420 a share.

Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018

This tweet was a cheeky reference to marijuana, but it ended up costing a fortune. The SEC sued him with fraudulent charges, claiming this irresponsible tweet misled investors.
He ended up paying millions in fines, and had to step down as Tesla’s chairman as a result of the drama.
Musk hasn’t been shy about sharing his thoughts on the global pandemic. On March 6, 2020, he tweeted “the coronavirus panic is dumb.” Since then, he’s been vocal about his distrust in antigen tests, and isn’t afraid to share his frustrations around lockdowns with his followers:

FREE AMERICA NOW
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020

He’s also said that the virus isn’t that deadly and that COVID-19 related deaths were inflated because doctors were wrongfully attributing deaths to the virus instead of other causes.
In 2021, Musk surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world. His reaction was quite understated. In response to a tweet from @teslaownersSV sharing the news, he simply said, “how strange.”
From there, he tweeted:

Back to work I go …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 8, 2021

Musk is still currently the richest person on the planet as of this article’s publication date, with a net worth of $213 billion.
Elon Musk’s foray into Bitcoin boosterism ramped up on January 29, 2021, when he added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter profile page, a move that appeared to have an impact on the price of BTC.
Days later, Musk announced that Tesla acquired $1.5 billion in bitcoin, with plans to accept it as payment.

You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021

The news caused the price of Bitcoin to jump 17% to $44,000, a record high at the time. Bitcoin remained in the spotlight through the year as the cryptocurrency continued to gather support from major financial institutions.
Just days prior, Musk also added fuel to the speculative fire surrounding the GameStop stock. By simply tweeting the word “Gamestonk” paired with a link to Reddit’s infamous r/wallstreetbets, GME’s price exploded more than 150% higher.
After facing backlash over his significant stockpile of wealth, Musk turned to Twitter to ask users if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock in order to pay taxes.

Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021

The majority of Twitter users voted yes, and the billionaire actually followed through and sold more than $16 billion worth of Tesla stock.
In late February, as Russia launched its offensive in Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation called the SpaceX founder out on Twitter, asking for support.

Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2022

Musk would reply within 24 hours, and soon after, Fedorov would tweet a photo of Starlink terminals arriving safely in the country.
Today, only 15% of banknotes feature women. This infographic looks at who these women are and which countries feature them on their currency
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A study by Swedish loan company Advisa analyzed 1,006 current international banknotes and found that only 15% featured images of women.
Who are these women, and which countries feature them on their bills?
This graphic by Ivett Kovács and Gabrielle Merite visualizes women on banknotes around the world, showing their main occupations, and the value of the banknotes they’re featured on.
To create this graphic, Ivett used data from the Standard Catalogue of World Paper Money, compiled by Vox.
According to the dataset, Queen Elizabeth II is the most featured woman worldwide.
Canada was the first country to use an image of Queen Elizabeth II on their money. In 1935, Canada printed her on a $20 banknote—the British monarch was only a 9-year-old princess at the time. Now, Queen E appears on a variety of different banknotes in 19 different countries. In the Cayman Islands, she’s on their $1, $5, $25, $50, and $100.
A few other queens or royal members have made it onto different banknotes too—Georgia’s 50 lari note has an image of Queen Tamar, who was the Queen of Georgia from 1184 to 1213, and Albania’s 100 lekë features Queen Teuta, a 3rd century queen of an Illyrian tribe.
While royals (especially Queen Elizabeth II) are frequently featured on bills worldwide, women in other positions have also made it onto banknotes.
Authors, singers, poets, and painters are featured on a number of different currencies. For instance, Sweden has Astrid Lindgren—the author of Pippi Longstocking—on their 20 kronor.
Sweden also features three other women on their bills: Birgit Nilsson, Jenny Lind, and Greta Garbo, making their banknote features an even 50/50 split between men and women.
Essentially the only time a woman was prominently featured on a U.S. banknote was in the late 19th century when Martha Washington—the wife of President George Washington—appeared on a $1 silver certificate.
martha washington 1 dollar silver note
This dearth of women on U.S. banknotes may soon come to an end. The Biden administration is now speeding up efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, an initiative that was delayed in recent years. When the plan was initially introduced by then Treasury secretary, Jacob Lew, in 2016, the new design was set to be unveiled in 2020 on the centennial of the 19th Amendment (which granted women the right to vote).
It’s worth noting that women are still consistently underrepresented in positions of power, and in the media.
And even when women do hold authoritative positions, research has shown they’re taken less seriously than their male counterparts.
That’s why events like International Women’s Day exist. It’s not just a time to celebrate women’s achievements—it’s also a day to shed light on existing gender bias, and ultimately take action to help combat gender inequality.
Want to be part of the change? Learn more about Women’s Day, or donate to fundraising efforts for female-focused charities.
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Copyright © 2022 Visual Capitalist

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