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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:46 AM

A color-coded map of the world’s most and least emotional countries

Since 2009, the Gallup polling firm has surveyed people in 150 countries and territories on, among other things, their daily emotional experience. Their survey asks five questions, meant to gauge whether the respondent felt significant positive or negative emotions the day prior to the survey. The more times that people answer “yes” to questions such as “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”, the more emotional they’re deemed to be.

Gallup has tallied up the average “yes” responses from respondents in almost every country on Earth. The results, which I’ve mapped out above, are as fascinating as they are indecipherable. The color-coded key in the map indicates the average percentage of people who answered “yes.” Dark purple countries are the most emotional, yellow the least. Here are a few takeaways.

Singapore is the least emotional country in the world. ”Singaporeans recognize they have a problem,” Bloomberg Businessweek writes of the country’s “emotional deficit,” citing a culture in which schools “discourage students from thinking of themselves as individuals.” They also point to low work satisfaction, competitiveness, and the urban experience: “Staying emotionally neutral could be a way of coping with the stress of urban life in a place where 82 percent of the population lives in government-built housing.”

The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country. It’s not even close; the heavily Catholic, Southeast Asian nation, a former colony of Spain and the U.S., scores well above second-ranked El Salvador.

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Reply A color-coded map of the world’s most and least emotional countries (Original post)
littlemissmartypants Nov 2012 OP
enlightenment Nov 2012 #1
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #2

Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:16 AM

1. Interesting, but I'm uncertain of

how useful, since it is an average of positive and negative emotions and I'm not sure how that average equals "presence or absence of emotions".

Gallup measures daily emotions in more than 150 countries and areas by asking residents whether they experienced five positive and five negative emotions a lot the previous day. Negative experiences include anger, stress, sadness, physical pain, and worry. Positive emotions include feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot, and learning or doing something interesting.

To measure the presence or absence of emotions, Gallup averaged together the percentage of residents in each country who said they experienced each of the 10 positive and negative emotions.

Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, in each country each year between 2009 and 2011.


Palestine ranks 50 out of 60 on their index (the Philippines ranks 60 or "most emotional". Palestine ranks highest, however, in negative emotions - not surprisingly.
It follows that is people are experiencing anger, stress, sadness, pain, and worry on a daily basis, they probably are not going to be reporting lots of positive emotions - so the average is going to be lower.
That doesn't mean that people in Palestine are less emotional than people in the Philippines. It means that when you life sucks, you're less inclined to have positives, which apparently drives down the overall score on this survey.

Culture also plays a role here that isn't addressed - whether a culture values holding their emotions close to the vest or displaying them for all to see will have a direct impact on what they report in response to the questions posed.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:33 AM

2. The UK is more 'emotional' than Italy?

That certainly goes against the stereotypes.

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