The Atlas of Emotion is a tool to help people better understand what emotions are, how they are triggered and what their effects are.

The Atlas of Emotions is an interactive tool designed to build emotional awareness. The site invites you to visualize, identify and explore five primary emotions (and their related feeling states, actions, triggers and moods) in order to gain a better understanding of how they influence our lives. Although we can’t always choose what emotions to feel or when to feel them, by building emotional awareness, it may be possible to choose how we respond to what we’re feeling. The Atlas began when the Dalai Lama asked prominent emotion researcher Paul Ekman to create a map of the emotions that could help people learn to have more constructive emotional experiences. Ekman, an expert in the field, had previously consulted on a wide range of emotion-related projects, including the popular Pixar film Inside Out. With his daughter, scholar Eve Ekman, he created the Atlas of Emotions in response to the Dalai Lama’s request.


Paul Ekman is a renowned American psychologist who pioneered the field of emotion research. After teaching at UCSF for 40 years and collaborating with partners as diverse as law enforcement agencies and the Dalai Lama, he now runs a private training company. Eve Ekman is a post-doctoral scholar at UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. As a teacher trainer for Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), an emotion-regulation and meditation intervention, Eve adapts CEB to train care providers in various fields.


Stamen Design was founded by Eric Rodenbeck in 2001. Since then, the studio has grown to a staff of 12 and established a reputation for its expertise in creating compelling interactive design and data visualization projects. Stamen is neither a research and development lab nor a traditional design firm, but something in between: a place where collaboration is valued, good ideas can come from anywhere and results are paramount.

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