Tech UPTechnologyTell me how you move the mouse and I...

Tell me how you move the mouse and I will tell you if you are angry

There are people who cannot hide if they are angry or have a bad day (they can be seen coming from afar), but for others it is more difficult to “see through” them. Now, a group of researchers from Brigham Young University, in Utah (USA), has found an empirical method of detecting our moods: the way we move – or mistreat – our computer mouse .

North American experts, led by Professor Jeffrey Jenkins, have verified that, indeed, the patterns of movement of the cursor on the screen are a true reflection of our state of mind ; especially when experiencing negative emotions such as anger, frustration, confusion or sadness.

In that case, the researchers say, we do not describe straight lines or quiet curves with the mouse, but sudden and chaotic movements, as if we were having a shake. And against what we might think, virtual movements are slower.


Jenkins has already patented his detection software, and is now refining it for specific uses. As he himself explains, it could be used so that the web pages that provide us with certain services – such as online ticket sales, for example – know that the user is not achieving what is proposed and is about to throw the computer through the window . Thus they can react automatically and redirect the crisis.

The researcher also believes that this technology, as he explains in the MIS Quarterly magazine, will be able to adapt to touch screens: instead of the movement of the cursor, it will be the harsh touch of the screen that will reveal our frustration. In fact, his team is already gathering data to create a model similar to the one they have developed with PC users.

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