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In February, we conducted a survey covering 13 news portals grouped into three categories:

  • general information portals (wp, interia, onet,,,
  • television news portals (tvn24, polsatnews, tvpinfo),
  • press information portals (,,,,

Arousal and emotions. The subject of the research were the titles of articles published on the main pages of selected portals. The analysis was conducted in terms of emotions and excitement evoked by these titles.

Arousal and emotions


The stimulus in February was at a comparable level for all categories. The stimulus is the “temperature” of the text’s message received by readers. It was important to analyze the composition of the emotions that the stimulus caused.


The graph above shows One thing. All categories of portals used the same main emotions as a “raw material” to build arousal. These were anger, fear, sadness, trust and joy. The differences were only on the level of intensity of used emotions.


However, a mere comparison of the intensity of emotions in absolute terms (in %) does not yet give an answer as to what kind of arousal we were dealing with in the published titles.

The answer can be found in the Basic Excitement Index (EPI) used in the analysis. This index is based on the cumulative intensities of basic emotions (anger, fear, expectation, surprise, trust, sadness, repulsion, joy) with the simultaneous application of weights (force) of their influence on the arousal (text temperature).

In creating the titles, press information portals used emotions generally understood as negative (fear, anger, sadness) to the greatest extent. Such actions resulted in a clear negative colouring of the arousal, which is indicated by the value of the basic emotion index (EPI negative).

Other emotions were used by general information portals. The use of positive emotions (mainly trust and joy) by these publishers resulted in the achievement of a stimulus with a positive colouring. This is indicated by the positive value of the EPI index.

Which strategy of arousing readers’ interest brought better results?  The answer can be found only by conducting a broader comparative analysis (primarily over time). The analysis will use additional data about the number of page views, number of internet users, average time per user.

Detailed data on individual portals can be found in the Pilot Report (February 2020) – “Analysis of emotions on information websites”.

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Stimulation and emotions