Measuring Mood – Current Research and New Ideas

Originally published at:

A post discussing the nuances behind designing experiments that track mood, including insights into the debate as to whether negative and positive emotions should be measured as polar opposite or considered states that can be experienced at the same time.

Hi, @Agaricus, great article. Recently I read Kahneman’s Noise book. He writes about noise in measures and scales and argues that there is a big problem with anchoring and other influences that create noise even inter-personally. What is your opinion or maybe suggestion about this topic? How to “anchor” self-measured feelings to decrease noise in data?


Thank you for your kind words about the post. My view is that there isn’t a clear and universal definition of “noise” in the context of personal projects. Noise is a loose word for variation that doesn’t tell you anything. This variation can come from anywhere. Trying to figure out what is causing an unexpected change in values, such as the influence of previous measures, can be very useful.

I think it’s often helpful to look closely at the particular question/observational protocol/reasoning methods and try to improve them, rather than hope for too much help from generic solutions. So… say more about what you are doing!