How are sentiment and emotional analysis different?

Sentiment and emotion are often used interchangeably, however, they are in actuality quite different. 

Sentiment analysis is a common feature of social listening and survey analysis tools. It classifies text as positive, neutral or negative to generate a sentiment score that indicates how positively or negatively people are discussing a topic or brand. The objective of sentiment analysis is to provide a top-line assessment of an audiences' feelings. The reliability of sentiment analysis is frequently impacted by the use of words in different contexts.

Consider the sentence "Nothing to be angry about." The use of the word angry may cause this to be classified as having a negative sentiment when in reality it is a positive statement.

Emotions, on the other hand, are complex multidimensional characteristics that convey how people feel about what they are saying. Emotions are what make human beings so complex. Understanding this complexity will provide you with a new way to authentically engage and connect with your audiences. For this reason, advanced emotional analysis (the kind you can do in Relative Insight) is an incredibly valuable source of insight that moves beyond what people are saying to how they are saying it.

Emotional analysis in Relative Insight

Relative Insight's emotional analysis capabilities go deeper than sentiment analysis, enabling you to take a more sophisticated approach to understanding audiences. For example, the platform will be able to tell you if one audience’s language use is more violent, angry, confident or calm than another.

The platform is able to identify over 20 different emotions when analyzing a data set. It does this by looking not only at individual words but also at the surrounding words. This helps to capture context and supports the accuracy of emotional classifications. In comparison to sentiment analysis, this allows for the identification of emotional nuances within the text analysis that are far more insightful than a positive-negative classification alone.

The power of emotional understanding

Imagine how your customer service team might be able to respond knowing that a customer is feeling frustrated or confused as opposed to simply being told that their sentiment is negative. This is the power of emotional analysis.

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