Understanding Emotions: The Role and Future of Feeling Scales in Mental Health

In the bustling arena of daily life, it’s easy to lose touch with our emotions. But understanding our feelings is crucial, as they influence our decisions, relationships, and overall well-being. Enter the concept of the ‘feeling scale,’ a tool designed to help us navigate the complex landscape of our emotions.

The feeling scale is much more than a simple mood barometer. It’s a sophisticated instrument that enables us to identify, measure, and understand our emotions on a deeper level. This tool can be a life-changer, especially in an era where emotional intelligence is highly valued.

So, let’s dive into the world of the feeling scale, where we’ll explore its intricacies, benefits, and how it can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Understanding the Concept of a “Feeling Scale”

A “Feeling Scale,” builds on the tenets of emotional intelligence, extending its function beyond emotional comprehension. While emotional intelligence, as reported by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves in their book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, includes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management, the feeling scale gets more granular, measuring specific emotional states and identifying their triggers.

Imagine a numeric scale. It stretches from negative numbers, symbolizing adverse emotions such as anger, to positive numbers, representing beneficial emotions like joy. The feeling scale serves as this numeric scale for emotions. On this scale, each numerical value corresponds to distinct emotional states, giving individuals a measurable way to express how they’re feeling.

The feeling scale embodies two main components. Firstly, it offers an objective tool for individuals to quantify their emotions. In an article published by the American Psychological Association, examining emotions numerically helps reduce subjective bias. For instance, someone might identify their mood as -3, equating to a state of stress or discomfort.

Secondly, it encourages emotional awareness and thus, emotional regulation. As argued by psychologist and emotion research pioneer, Lisa Feldman Barrett, in her book “How Emotions Are Made,” the ability to label and understand emotions can influence how a person experiences them. The feeling scale enables accurate emotional labeling, leading to improved understanding, and in turn, healthier emotional encounters.

Thirdly, the feeling scale provides a common language for discussing feelings. This increases interpersonal understanding and fosters more meaningful communication. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, effective emotional communication was found to enhance relationship satisfaction.

Lastly, by understanding one’s position on the feeling scale, individuals can take necessary actions to shift towards a more desirable emotional state. This fulfills the pivotal aspect of emotional intelligence regarding self-management and paves the way for improved emotional health and wellbeing. Examples of such actions could be practicing gratitude to uplift mood or engaging in deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety.

The feeling scale presents a practical, structured approach to emotional intelligence, equipping individuals with a valuable tool for fostering self-awareness, managing emotions more effectively, and improving overall emotional wellbeing.

Application Areas of the “Feeling Scale” in Real Life

Expanding the use of the “feeling scale” to pragmatic applications proves essential in a real-life context. Multiple environments demonstrate the tangible efficacy of this emotional meter, supporting emotional health and wellbeing.

1. Personal Development:
Regular usage of the feeling scale catalyzes emotional self-awareness. By ranking feelings numerically, individuals isolate specific reactions. They recognize patterns in their personal and professional lives, transforming emotional intelligence into a tool for self-improvement.

2. Counseling and Therapy:
Therapists and counselors often use the feeling scale during sessions. It enhances communication and lets therapists precisely identify emotional responses. This practice offers a unified language for discussing emotions, aiding practitioners in planning effective treatment strategies.

3. Education Sector:
Too often, emotions in educational settings remain undervalued. Implementation of the feeling scale in these environments empowers students. By understanding their emotions, they can manage stress and anxiety more effectively. It also assists teachers in maintaining a supportive, understanding atmosphere in the classroom.

4. Corporate Environment:
Workplaces thrive when emotional intelligence is a shared priority. The feeling scale fosters better interpersonal understanding among colleagues and superiors, which can lead to increased productivity. It helps in creating a safe, empathetic work culture where employees can openly communicate their feelings without fear of judgment.

5. Medical and Health Services:
In healthcare, the feeling scale aids in understanding patients’ emotional states. It equips healthcare professionals to respond empathetically. Additionally, it assists in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders accurately.

Each application underscores the value of the “feeling scale” in real life, showcasing its flexibility across various sectors. Devotees of this method gain a powerful tool for emotional literacy, creating avenues for improved emotional health and wellbeing.

Studying Different Types of “Feeling Scales”

Exploring the realm of feeling scales, various versions captivate interest. For instance, the Differential Emotions Scale (DES), the Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance (PAD) Emotional State Model, and the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM). Each manifests distinct highlights and unique operational methods.

The Differential Emotions Scale (DES), initially proposed by Izard[1], serves to evaluate ten fundamental feelings: joy, interest, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, contempt, fear, shame, and guilt. Each one denoted by a subset of descriptive phrases, this scale permits individuals to more accurately pinpoint current emotions.

However, another noteworthy type, the Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance (PAD) Emotional State Model by Mehrabian[2] introduces a three-dimensional approach. It assesses emotional states, accounting for variables such as pleasure, arousal, and dominance. Containing these three distinct scales, the PAD model expands the scope of emotional understanding.

A third, the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), offers a non-verbal technique to assess emotional states. Bradley and Lang[3] presented this pictorial scale, which gauges pleasure, arousal, and dominance fron a series of figures. It’s particularly beneficial for researchers dealing with language barriers or cognitive constraints in their subjects.

Notably, there prevails no “one size fits all” in the selection of a feeling scale. Selecting the most suitable one depends on various factors like the target audience, the objective of the assessment, and the constraints of the chosen context. Persistently, researchers pour over these variables to refine existing scales and innovate new ones as the recognition and understanding of human emotions evolve.

Always remember, the mentioned feeling scales, DES, PAD, and SAM, represent only a slice of this range. Numerous others pepper the emotional studies landscape, each bearing their unique focus and structure, adding to the rich tapestry of tools available for investigating human emotions.

  1. Izard, C. (1977). Human Emotions. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
  2. Mehrabian, A. (1980). Basic Dimensions for a General Psychological Theory. Oelgeschlager, Gunn & Hain, Cambridge, MA.
  3. Bradley, M. M., Lang, P. J. (1994). Measuring Emotion: The Self-Assessment Manikin and the Semantic

The Benefits and Limitations of Using a “Feeling Scale”

Feeling scales provide a wide range of benefits, making them valuable tools for individuals and professionals alike. Primarily, they serve as an accessible framework for individuals to enhance their emotional literacy, promoting in-depth self-understanding. Emotionally literate individuals consistently show higher resilience, improved social communication, and better overall well-being.

Through regular use, feeling scales support the development of emotional awareness, a key component for managing personal and professional relationships effectively. They aid in the identification and differentiation of emotions, leading to enhanced regulation capabilities. In the field of psychology, these scales play a pivotal role in therapeutic practices by enabling a quantitative assessment of emotions.

Furthermore, they prove instrumental in research settings, providing empirical data for various emotional responses, supporting studies in clinical, social, and developmental psychology. For instance, the validated scales such as DES, PAD, and SAM supplement evidence-based methodologies, enhancing the efficacy of therapeutic interventions and research outcomes.

However, it’s important to acknowledge the limitations of feeling scales. They rely on the participant’s introspection and honesty, potentially subject to inaccuracies due to social desirability bias or personal interpretation. Additionally, they primarily focus on the individual’s current emotional state, which might not reflect the full emotional complexity accurately.

Also, cultural differences and social norms might influence participants’ responses, affecting the scales’ validity across different cultural contexts. Despite these limitations, feeling scales, by providing a practical lexicon for emotions, continue to be beneficial tools for individuals to navigate the vast expanse of human emotions and for experts to gather valuable data, leading to greater emotional comprehension and well-being elevation.

The Future of “Feeling Scales” in Research and Health Fields

The future of “feeling scales” in research and health fields looks promising, thanks to cutting-edge technology and advanced analytical tools. Smart devices equipped with biosensors, for example, quantify physiological responses such as heart rate, breath rate, and galvanic skin response. These instruments aid in creating objective, real-time readings of emotional states, alleviating some of the issues introduced by current iffy self-report measures.

Psychologists and researchers anticipate that the integration of biometric data with self-reported information on feeling scales could enhance the accuracy and reliability of emotional analysis. The advancement in technology is essentially creating a new era for “feeling scales” among professionals involved in mental health services.

Data analytics advances stand as another significant factor in the development and expansion of “feeling scales”. Complex algorithms and machine learning techniques can sort through and interpret massive datasets from emotional responses, providing deeper, more nuanced insights.

Moreover, the growing recognition of emotional health’s importance in overall wellness fuels the demand for refined, user-friendly “feeling scales”. These tools might see increased usage among professionals in health fields as a method to assess individual well-being and as a vital component of wellness programs.

Lastly, as stigma surrounding mental health decreases, the societal acceptance of emotional health assessments using “feeling scales” is likely rising. Public education and awareness campaigns both play significant roles in encouraging people to honestly and accurately express their feelings, and thus, make more full use of these scales.

“feeling scales” present enormous potential for the future, overcoming limitations of the past through tech and societal developments. Still, researchers have to vigilantly address the challenges of cultural relevance and personal bias to improve these tools’ effectiveness and acceptance universally.


Feeling scales have emerged as a valuable tool in enhancing emotional literacy and supporting therapeutic and research practices in psychology. Their potential in promoting emotional awareness and regulation can’t be overstated. However, they’re not without limitations such as reliance on introspection and cultural influences.

The future of feeling scales looks promising, with advancements in technology like biosensors and data analytics poised to improve emotional analysis accuracy. As societal acceptance grows, so does the potential for improved emotional health assessments and wellness programs. While challenges like cultural relevance and personal bias exist, researchers are actively working to address these, aiming to enhance the effectiveness and universal acceptance of feeling scales.

The journey towards improved emotional health is a continuous one, and feeling scales are proving to be a critical part of that journey.