Find out what emotions Modi and Kejriwal elicit when they make speeches

Shadab Nazmi
Shadab NazmiOct 19, 2016 | 17:58

Find out what emotions Modi and Kejriwal elicit when they make speeches

"In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins."

- Drew Westen, The Political Brain. 

Whenever we discuss public speeches given by our leaders in India, there are two leaders who cross our mind - one is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the other, Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Of course, political leaders know actions speak louder than words. After all, humans are innate to understand facial expressions and the emotions they stir. They would certainly want to make as many factors work for them as possible. And why not.

PM Narendra Modi.  

So, we did an in-depth study where we tried to understand the emotions that each of the two speakers elicit when they address the public. Why they move the masses the way they do.

What's interesting is that we used their photos clicked during speeches to decipher the emotional constructs they exhibited.

Through these photos, while paying special attention to the "what they are speaking about" in their speeches, we also noted "how they are saying" it.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo credit: PTI)

We collected 100 photos (50 each for both Modi and Kejriwal) from Google Images taken at various events such as public addresses and rallies.

Then, we used Microsoft Cognitive Services API , here the Emotion API, which automatically identifies facial attributes related to eight emotions: anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, neutral, sadness, and surprise.

Now, how does the Emotion API work?

The Emotion API takes a facial expression in an image as an input, and returns the confidence across a set of emotions for each face in the image, as well as bounding box for the face, using the Face API.

What did we find out?

Neutral takes over as the most common emotion for both Modi and Kejriwal.


While the PM punctuates his speech with angry facial expressions, the Delhi CM has a joyful appearance.

So, who was the most emotional candidate according to our study?

The breakdown. 

Both candidates express a diverse set of emotions during speeches. Some specific findings:

1. PM Modi is the angriest; Arvind Kejriwal is the most surprised.

High on anger construct. 

2. Both candidates express equal neutrality in their facial expressions.

3. Narendra Modi is higher in the sad index than Arvind Kejriwal.

Appears most surprised. 

You can visit these links to access the entire data set for both Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal.

Last updated: October 19, 2016 | 17:58
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