Understanding emotions and perceptions towards places: A quantitative method integrating neural technologies with GIS techniques

Authors: Jiaxin Feng*, University of Washington
Topics: Environmental Perception, Digital Geographies, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: emotions, perceptions, place, EEG, GIS, environmental psychology
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 46
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Human emotions and perceptions towards places have been explored qualitatively using surveys and interviews for a long time or quantitatively with GPS tracking and location-based social media more recently. Different from prior work, this study aims to quantitatively measure individuals’ emotions and perceptions toward places by using neural technologies and GIS techniques in order to provide an objective and immediate understanding of individuals’ subjective and changing emotional responses. Electroencephalogram (EEG), eye tracking and GPS tracking devices, cameras, and complementary surveys will be employed and combined differently in two experimental settings – indoor and outdoor settings. In a planned case study, visual stimuli that result in individuals’ emotional states and changes in relation to the fear of crime will be fully examined, and a comparison between the related emotions and crime rate will be made to see if a spatiotemporal mismatch between the two exists and how this mismatch could be shaped. This study showcases the possibilities of using a new quantitative method to measure subjective sentiments and of integrating a humanistic perspective into GIS studies and methodological innovation. Future research can take into account the influence of individual characteristics and experiences on the analysis of emotions and perceptions.

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