Emoticons get more emotional

April 29, 2013 by Yasmin Anwar
Emoticons get more emotional
UC Berkeley psychologists have helped create more complex emoticons for Facebook. Credit: TechCrunch

Emoticons not expressing the full complexity of your feelings? UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner and his team at the campus's Greater Good Science Center can help. They have assisted in creating a nuanced Facebook sticker package based on a character "Finch," a nod to scientist Charles Darwin's collection of Galapagos finches.

Inspired by Darwin's book, "The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals," and designed by story artist Matt Jones, the new package of 16 emoticons shows surprise, sympathy, anger and sadness, among other sentiments.

"We were inspired to enrich the iconic language with which we communicate at Facebook and through social media in general, to make it more precise, nuanced and aesthetic," said Keltner, who studies compassion and the social function of emotion, among other things.

"This collaboration is an opportunity to let people see emotion through the eyes of Darwin," he added.

The "Finch" animated sticker set is available as a free download through 's iOS application and in Messenger for Android.

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not rated yet Apr 29, 2013
It always seems a bit bizarre that an article will mention a particular number - here, 16 - and then show only a portion of them - here, 12 - when the full complement could be shown.

Hopefully, one of them will be for sarcasm, since it is the expression most misunderstood in short posts imo.

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