Constructivist Approaches for Computational Emotions: A Systematic Survey

Alexander Viola, Vladimir Pavlovic, Sejong Yoon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Computational emotion, is naturally predicated on an operating theory of emotion. This paper seeks to explore the prevalence of three different approaches in the literature, namely basic emotion, dimensional emotion, and constructed emotion. Basic emotion maintains that there exists a discrete set of primitive emotions evolved as responses to certain stimuli; dimensional emotion sees different emotions as systematically related by two or more dimensions (typically valence and arousal); and constructed emotion describes emotional experience as a function of the brain’s general predictive faculties applied to learned social concepts of different emotions. In order to see how these approaches are represented in affective computing literature, we conduct a systematic survey spanning the IEEE, ACM, ScienceDirect, and Engineering Village databases. Out of 204 selected papers, 151 apply basic emotion theory, 48 apply dimensional emotion, and 5 apply constructed emotion. We find promising representation of the constructed emotion theory in the affective computing literature and conclude that it provides a theoretical basis worth pursuing for affective engagement human computer interaction (HCI) applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Theory of Mind for Human-Machine Teams - 1st International Symposium, ToM for Teams 2021, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsNikolos Gurney, Gita Sukthankar
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783031216701
StatePublished - 2022
Event1st International Symposium, ToM for Teams 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Nov 4 2021Nov 6 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13775 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference1st International Symposium, ToM for Teams 2021
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


  • Affective computing
  • Constructed emotion
  • Systematic survey


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