WOK: emotion Valeria Espinosa

Valeria Espinosa

Jamie Brewton, Ansar Eshonkulov, and Katya Herbert

February 15-February 22

Are Feelings Real?

OUR QUESTION: If you feel it, is it real?

February 17,2017 | Planning Journal

What's your plan for your project?

Our plan for the project is to answer the question "If you feel it, is it real." In my personal opinion this idea is too abstract for there to be a definite answer, but I guess this experiment will allow me to see if my opinion is true or false. We will attempt to answer the question by doing the following. We will be asking a variety of people a group of questions in which relate back to the man question. We will be recording their answers and then writing them down so that there answers could be kept anonymous. The file recorded, will then be deleted. We were going to initially record each of our group members saying the responses aloud, but then decided that it would be more intimate if we were to read it in front of the class. The questions that will be asked will cause the person to not only reflect of their emotions, but to make them question those feelings and of course potentially tie those feelings into TOK as a way of learning. After we have intervewed different people, we will analyze and draw conclusions from each response. We hope to interview a group of people, who are feeling completely different emotions, so that our project can be interesting and versatile. We hope that our project will be organic, intimate, abstract, and powerful like emotions. We know that the intervewee may be uncomfortable with breaking down these emotions as sometimes emotions can be a personal and hard to share topic.

What is the main point about your WOK that you want to make in your Badge Project ?

The main point about my WOK that I want to make in my badge project is that emotion is such an abstract thing, that in all honesty it would be impossible to determine a definite answer for our questions. I personally want to focus on whether or not emotions are real or if it's just a combination of reasoning, intuition, and other ways of knowing. In my opinion, emotion does correlate with each of the different ways of knowing, which is why it makes emotion such an abstract topic. One thing that I want to show my classmates is that emotion in my opinion is the most personal and intimate way of knowing. Emotions at times are hard to discuss and what's even harder, is asking yourself why is it that you're feel a certain emotion. This idea correlates with our question. In my opinion if you feel something then it is real, even if you don't necessarily know how to put it into words. If you know you are feeling a certain emotion, then it must be real. Whenever I talk about emotions I always find my self getting confused, and that goes back to the fact that emotion is such an abstract thing.

End of the day

What did you learn about your WOK?

Today I personally learned a variety of things about my WOK, which is emotion. I realized that emotion is for a fact one of the most abstract ways of knowing and it can easily distort one's perspective/reality. I believe that emotions are uncontrollable to some extent, which is why this presentation is going to be extremely interesting. This is because the person that might be interviewed may feel uncomfortable not only about discussing their feelings, but also with breaking down these emotions. In my opinion emotion can be a personal and hard topic to share, which is why I hypothesized that whenever one will be asked how why they are feeling a certain way, they will most likely stutter and at times be reluctant to answer the question. I think that emotions are extremely complex and are not easily communicated between people. I have learend that not one person can feel or share the exact emotions as another, since everyone responds different and some people are more susceptible to emotions compared to others. For example, one can empathize for another, but they can't feel the same way.

How prepare are you for your Badge Project? What's left to do?

Today we planned our whole presentation because last class we had a completely different approach to our question. This class we decided that this approach was no longer working andcompletely changed it. This caused us to be fairly behind compared to others. We spent this whole class period working on the idea of our presentation, but we never go to actually work on the presentation itself. Although that's the case, we still feel prepared. We worked on the questions that would be asked, so all that is left is to go around and ask different people this set of questions. We have concluded that we would Skype during the weekend to work on the analytical aspect of the presentation. Therefore I feel prepared and I'm extremely sure that this presentation will be intimate and abstract compared to others.

February 22, 2017 | Reflection Journal


What are your goals and aims for today's presentation/project? (discuss at least one personal goal)

My goal is to further inform people about emotions. My aim is to show people how emotion is by far the most abstract way of knowing, and I personally belief that they will see this as there was no definite answer to our question. One of our goals was that our project would be organic, intimate, abstract and powerful like emotions, which is why we decided that we wouldn't record a video or present a lengthy powerpoint. I honestly hope people understand that there is no quantity or formulaic method of approach in finding one's emotions.There really isn't a way to understand how one truly feels and why they feel that certain emotion, even the person themselves had trouble answering why they felt that certain emotion. My personal goal is still the same as the one in my first WOK which is that I want to improvise more and see were my thoughts take me rather, than just reading off of my screen. To me this is extremely difficult because I really have trouble speaking in front a group of people.


In my opinion, our presentation went well. I think that the time restraint really did affect our presentation because most of my group members had to rush whenever presenting their findings and their analysis. I also took the time, like my last WOK presentation, to ask my peers for feedback. They told me everything that I wanted to hear. They said that the presentation was natural, but simultaneously abstract. Although it didn't go as planned, I still think we were able to get our message across about emotions. In my opinion, emotion is probably going to be my favorite WOK, I am infatuated with the fact that it's so abstract. I guess I didn;t know how difficult emotions are until, I too asked my myself how I was feeling and why I was feeling a certain way. In my opinion emotion is by far the hardest WOK to analyze but it's by far the most personal to talk about. Like I said before, there is no formulaic method of approach in finding one's emotion, which is why it makes it such an abstract topic. I can't express how many times I found myself getting confused about this WOK and at times I just couldn't put my analysis into words. In all honesty, I would really want to this way of knowing later on in the future. Although this WOK was a bit rushed compared to the previous one, I still enjoyed learning about it in such a personal way.

3 knowledge Questions

  • How far should we rely on our emotions and feelings as a source of knowledge?
  •  Do people act their way into feeling or feel their way into action?
  • Can/should we control our emotions?


Please read my journal dated February 17, 2017, in order to see my group's plan. Like said above, my group and I spent a whole class period figuring out what questions we would ask that would best relate back to our main question. Once that was done, each group member had the task to go around the school and interview different people in which we thought would give a genuine response to our questions. We recorded their responses and then typed it up, so that it would be anonymous. We told them that this would be anonymous so that each interviewee would give a good, heartfelt response. We would each then have to right an analysis on the interview and see how there responses would relate back to the main question. Below I have linked the document to our interviews and our analytical responses. At the beginning of the project we were set o creating video, but then later on we realized that it would more intimate if we were to read our responses in front of the class. Jamie and I then thought that it would be boring if we didn't have some sort of powerpoint, which is why we created a short and cute powerpoint that would go with our responses. The link to the powerpoint is also below.

Elective reading

This app knows how you feel-from the look of your face | Rana el Kaliouby

"So our human face happens to be one of the most powerful channels that we all use to communicate social and emotional states, everything from enjoyment, surprise, empathy and curiosity."

Rana el Kaliouby believes that our emotions does indeed influence every aspect of lives. Emotions allows us to communicate with one another, but this idea is distorted due to the presence of technology. Now a days we only communicate with each other through our devices, causing any source of emotion to be omitted as one can't see how another feels towards a particular situation. Rana el Kaliouby relates back to the idea that our emotions are closely connected to our bodies. She aims to change technology in a way that it connects us rather than separate us. Her and her team have invented an app in which it reads one's facial expressions in which matches to one's emotions. The computer determines one's emotions by reading their facial emotions that are caused by action units. Like Kaliouby said every action unit corresponds to a specific facial expression. This app will now allow one to know another's emotions. This will allow us to connect at a more personal level. In my opinion this app can change a variety of things. We will no longer have to show our emotions through an emoji and this app will allow us to understand how a person feels without necessarily having to be actually face to face.

“Study: What Was The Impact Of The Iconic Photo Of The Syrian Boy

"Emotion is a critical factor in helping us understand an event, and it is a motivator that impels action as opposed to just abstract thoughts."

This article is based on the idea that an image can easily stir emotions. The humanitarian crisis in Syria barely caught people's attention, until photo a 3-year-old Syrian refugee washed up on a sandy beach in Turkey was shown. This article shows how people's emotions can easily be stirred, and could also easily change one's perception. This article then goes on to discuss how since people saw this situation as a concern, they decided to donate to charitable organizations around to world to aid victims of the Syrian Civil War. This image was said to have "mobilized empathy and concern." Emotion is a "motivator that impels action as opposed to just abstract thoughts" Therefore, the image of the Syrian refugee arouse concern towards this crisis, which is why donations around the world increases. People felt empathy for the poor refugee. He was so close, but yet so far from escaping this civil war, which is why it caught so many people's attentions. I found it incredible how our emotions can easily be influenced by our surroundings.

Exploring Emotional contagion

Emotional contagion is defined as the "tendency for emotions such as anger and fear to spread quickly through a group of people." In shorter terms, emotion can be contagious. For example when one talks to someone that is feeling upset or depressed, that one person finds themselves mimicking the same emotion/feeling. I too believe that emotions can easily affect others and cause them to adopt a similar tone and emotion. I found the fact that emotion can easily cascade through a group of people extremely fascinating, which is why I wanted to further explore this essential term. I took the time to watch a TED talk, discussing if whether or not emotions are contagious in the workplace.

Emotional Contagion: About the TED talk

This TED talk focuses on the following question, "are emotions contagious in the workplace?" Smith discusses on the fact that people tend to believe that those who go to work 'leave' their emotions behind, but that is not necessarily true. He goes on to explain how this question is based on emotional contagion, which discusses not only how emotions can easily be spread in a group of people, but also how mimicking other people's expressions is what triggers emotional contagion. When one gets affected by other's emotions, it stays with us. Smith discusses how there a variety of different emotions that are contagious, but the one's that affect us the most are negative emotions. He then discusses how some people are more susceptible to emotions than others. Towards the end of the presentation he discusses how one who is high susceptible to emotions and has that spreads negative emotions, are more likely to have a bad working experience. This presentation taught me that our emotions can truly affect those that surrounds, therefore one should be aware of how one deals with their emotions.

Extension Proposal

Give reasons for adding it to the existing elective reading list.

I believe that this article should be added to the existing elective reading list because it further informed me about emotions and how they are a source of communication. This article talks about the importance of accurately conveying emotions, due to the fact that it is a source of communication. If emotions are not accurately conveyed, that could cause a lot of miscommunication. This article focuses on the idea of emotional intelligence, which of course is an essential term described in the textbook. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one's and other people's emotions. It is being able to discern between different feelings. It then goes on to discuss how emotional expression is healthy for an individual, which I think it's extremely important to understand. One of the main topics which is talked about in this article is how one only express emotions, if they have overcome their cultural and personal barriers. One can only understand other's emotions and the message they are trying to communicate if their self-awareness is accurate. I feel like this article allowed me to further understand how emotion is a form of communication and it also emphasized the importance of being able to understand an idea in which another individual communicates. Lastly it talks about the emotions' cultural barrier. It explains how all cultures are able to recognize the basic emotions, but what distinguishes a culture from another is how they shows those emotions.



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