Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

IDEST: International Database of Emotional Short Texts

List of AuthorsKaakinen Johanna K., Werlen Egon, Kammerer Yvonne, Acartürk Cengiz, Aparicio Xavier, Baccino Thierry, Ballenghein Ugo, Bergamin Per, Castells Nuria, Costa Amanda, Falé Isabel, Mégalakaki Olga, Fernández Susana Ruiz

PublisherPublic Library of Science

Publication year2022

JournalPLoS ONE

Journal name in sourcePLoS ONE

Volume number17

Issue number10




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We introduce a database (IDEST) of 250 short stories rated for valence, arousal, and comprehensibility in two languages. The texts, with a narrative structure telling a story in the first person and controlled for length, were originally written in six different languages (Finnish, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish), and rated for arousal, valence, and comprehensibility in the original language. The stories were translated into English, and the same ratings for the English translations were collected via an internet survey tool (N = 573). In addition to the rating data, we also report readability indexes for the original and English texts. The texts have been categorized into different story types based on their emotional arc. The texts score high on comprehensibility and represent a wide range of emotional valence and arousal levels. The comparative analysis of the ratings of the original texts and English translations showed that valence ratings were very similar across languages, whereas correlations between the two pairs of language versions for arousal and comprehensibility were modest. Comprehensibility ratings correlated with only some of the readability indexes. The database is published in, and it is freely available for academic research.

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Last updated on 2023-31-05 at 12:14