DO EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO DATA VISUALISATION MOBILISE PEOPLE TO ACT? A CASE STUDY OF CLIMATE CHANGE VISUALISATIONS IN DIFFERENT NATIONAL CONTEXTS
Keywords:Data visualisation, emotions, participation, climate change, diversity
AbstractThis paper offers original insights into social media audiences’ emotional responses to data visualisations about climate change and how these responses play a role in mobilising participation in different national and geographical contexts. Understanding the role emotions play in engagements with graphic representations of data is important, because there is an increased circulation of data through visual representations in everyday life, and because emotions are vital components for making sense of data and for eliciting engagement. Despite this, sociological research has yet to explore emotional experiences of datavis and where they can lead. This paper uses a comparative mixed qualitative methods approach, incorporating semiotic analysis of thirteen datavis about climate change, nine semi-structured interviews with ten data visualisation professionals from six organisations who design, commission and/or disseminate data visualisations about climate change, thirty-four semi-structured interviews and thirteen follow-up interviews with diverse audience participants from the United Kingdom and Poland who responded to these data visualisations on social media. The paper argues that datavis can be seen as what I have called an ‘emotional repository’ of dynamic and complex emotional experiences. It can trigger multiple, simultaneous, and often contradictory emotions, relating mainly to the data that is the subject of the visualisation or aesthetic form. These emotions play an important role in mobilising audiences to participate in datafied democracies, more often on an individual and daily level, and less frequently on a collective and public scale. However, they do so in different ways, depending on geographical context and demographic characteristics.
How to Cite
Frątczak, M. (2023). DO EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO DATA VISUALISATION MOBILISE PEOPLE TO ACT? A CASE STUDY OF CLIMATE CHANGE VISUALISATIONS IN DIFFERENT NATIONAL CONTEXTS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2022i0.13002