Survey: Latin Americans lead world in emotions

Gallup measured daily emotions in 148 countries in 2014 by asking people whether they experienced five positive and five negative emotions a lot the previous day. The five negative experiences include anger, stress, sadness, physical pain and worry. The five positive experiences include feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot and learning or doing something interesting. The most and least emotional countries are based on the rankings of the average “yes” responses to all questions.

Separately, the questions about positive and negative emotions make up Gallup’s Positive Experience and Negative Experience Indexes, respectively. Both indexes attempt to quantify how people live their lives — as opposed to how people see their lives.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Positive and Negative Experience Indexes are not inversely related. Meaning in some countries, many people might report laughing and smiling a lot and also report a lot of sadness or anger. The lack of a relationship between the two was the impetus for this analysis — to quantitatively show how residents of some countries report experiencing a lot of emotions overall, while residents in others tend to express few emotions — positive or negative.