The Orthographic Model of Emotions

Self Help for Robots is a website ( and a podcast on iTunes to discuss a description of emotions so simple, a machine could understand it.

There are three dimensions implied in this illustration: GAIN, DOMAIN, and EVENT—can you guess which is which?

This this three-axis model, a fourth dimension of CLARITY (versus AMBIGUITY) would appear as a distinct point, or a cloud of probability to represent the dimension. It’s ironic, isn’t it, to represent a vague feeling with precision, but that’s the point of emotional primitives.

As I mention in my podcast, a statement like “You are okay!” can be represented in the model as a POSITIVE gain experienced in the PRESENT—that eternal boundary between past and future represented in part by that large box in the middle of the model—and as I express that towards a listener or reader, the OUTER domain from my perspective.