Modelling of Emotional Contagion of Soccer Fans

Berend Jutte
Oct 9, 2017 · 3 min read

At Triple, we believe that design and technology make life much more enjoyable. Current Artificial Intelligence (AI) fails to capture the human element of emotion in a subjective way. Most companies create AI’s that act just like robots. It does not incorporate human values or emotions. We strive to measure real human emotions, to understand human intention and feelings objectively.

My name is Berend Jutte. I am a researcher who holds a MSc (Applied Neuroscience) and in my current position I make use of statistical, mathematical and predictive modeling skills. I come across various business related queries and strive to find the best solutions by applying the right algorithms. Furthermore, I integrate neuroscientific knowledge into technology to create optimal human experiences. My life goal is to contribute to the overall betterment of humankind and the environment.

This research introduces a cognitive computational model of emotional contagion in a crowd of soccer supporters. It is useful (1) for a better understanding of emotional contagion processes and (2) for further development into a predictive and advising application for soccer stadium managers to enhance and improve the ambiance during a soccer game for safety or economic reasons. The model is neurologically grounded and focuses on the emotions “pleasure” and “sadness”. Even though we still do not completely understand the brain and its activities, it is nevertheless possible to create a model that mimics more or less these brain activities. Let’s see how this works.

Positive emotions, such as the feeling of “pleasure”, and negative emotions, such as the feeling of “sadness”, are processed and controlled in the brain. Human pleasure reactions occur across a distributed system of brain regions, of which important nodes include sub-cortical regions (such as the nucleus accumbens (NAcc)) and cortical regions (Orbitofrontal Cortex (OC) and Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC)). In addition, the Amygdala is related to the feeling of pleasure and the feeling of sadness. All these different brain regions have specific functions for the sensoring, processing and expression of emotions. This is related to a phenomenon called “emotional contagion”, which is based on the principle of mirror neurons. The mirror neurons are included in different neural networks, and their function is to mirror particular emotional states of other persons and to prepare for certain actions.

Emotional contagion in groups is a social phenomenon. Emotions of group members can be absorbed by other group members or they can be reinforced. However, controlling this emotional contagion can be a real challenge, especially in a situation with thousands of people with different emotional strengths. Such a situation occurs in a stadium during a soccer game, where 40.000 people, who all have and show differences in emotion, attention and social aspects, come together. How does emotional contagion work during different parts of a game and how can we construct a model that mimics this process?

In this paper, various algorithms are used to mimic different states of related brain regions in each agent (supporter). By using a logistic regression and different sum functions, it is possible to mimic emotional responses. The model outcomes are compared to the heart rate of 100 supporters and to reported emotions. The model produced similar heart rate and emotional patterns, thereby establishing its validity.


The full paper is published in Computational Collective Intelligence and Transactions on Computational Collective Intelligence journal.

TripleUniverse

We're a bunch of geeks working to make the best of the digital landscape by combining tech knowledge, and design thinking into business critical solutions.

Berend Jutte

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As a Researcher & Data Scientist, I make use of my statistical, mathematical and predictive modelling skills.

TripleUniverse

We're a bunch of geeks working to make the best of the digital landscape by combining tech knowledge, and design thinking into business critical solutions.