Turkish Emotional Word Norms for Arousal, Valence, and Discrete Emotion Categories

Psychol Rep. 2021 Feb;124(1):188-209. doi: 10.1177/0033294118814722. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


The present study combined dimensional and categorical approaches to emotion to develop normative ratings for a large set of Turkish words on two major dimensions of emotion: arousal and valence, as well as on five basic emotion categories of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust. A set of 2031 Turkish words obtained by translating Affective Norms for English Words to Turkish and pooling from the Turkish Word Norms were rated by a large sample of 1527 participants. This is the first comprehensive and standardized word set in Turkish offering discrete emotional ratings in addition to dimensional ratings along with concreteness judgments. Consistent with Affective Norms for English Words and word databases in several other languages, arousal increased as valence became more positive or more negative. As expected, negative emotions (anger, sadness, fear, and disgust) were positively correlated with each other, whereas the positive emotion, happiness, was negatively correlated with the negative emotion categories. Data further showed that the valence dimension was strongly correlated with happiness, and the arousal dimension was mostly correlated with fear. These findings show highly similar and consistent patterns with word sets provided in other languages in terms of the relationships between arousal and valence dimensions, relationships between dimensions and specific emotion categories, relationships among specific emotions, and further support the stability of the relationship between basic discrete emotions at the word level across different cultures.

Keywords: Arousal; discrete emotions; valence; word norms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anger
  • Arousal*
  • Disgust
  • Emotions*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sadness
  • Turkey
  • Young Adult