Evaluating Subjective Cognitive Appraisals of Emotions from Large Language Models

Published: 07 Oct 2023, Last Modified: 01 Dec 2023EMNLP 2023 FindingsEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Submission Type: Regular Long Paper
Submission Track: Linguistic Theories, Cognitive Modeling, and Psycholinguistics
Submission Track 2: Resources and Evaluation
Keywords: Emotion, Cognitive Appraisal, Large Language Models
Abstract: The emotions we experience involve complex processes; besides physiological aspects, research in psychology has studied cognitive appraisals where people assess their situations subjectively, according to their own values (Scherer, 2005). Thus, the same situation can often result in different emotional experiences. While the detection of emotion is a well-established task, there is very limited work so far on the automatic prediction of cognitive appraisals. This work fills the gap by presenting CovidET-Appraisals, the most comprehensive dataset to-date that assesses 24 appraisal dimensions, each with a natural language rationale, across 241 Reddit posts. CovidET-Appraisals presents an ideal testbed to evaluate the ability of large language models — excelling at a wide range of NLP tasks — to automatically assess and explain cognitive appraisals. We found that while the best models are performant, open-sourced LLMs fall short at this task, presenting a new challenge in the future development of emotionally intelligent models. We release our dataset at https://github.com/honglizhan/CovidET-Appraisals-Public.
Submission Number: 2354