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ArXiv Preprint

Words play a central role in how we express ourselves. Lexicons of word-emotion associations are widely used in research and real-world applications for sentiment analysis, tracking emotions associated with products and policies, studying health disorders, tracking emotional arcs of stories, and so on. However, inappropriate and incorrect use of these lexicons can lead to not just sub-optimal results, but also inferences that are directly harmful to people. This paper brings together ideas from Affective Computing and AI Ethics to present, some of the practical and ethical considerations involved in the creation and use of emotion lexicons -- best practices. The goal is to provide a comprehensive set of relevant considerations, so that readers (especially those new to work with emotions) can find relevant information in one place. We hope this work will facilitate more thoughtfulness when one is deciding on what emotions to work on, how to create an emotion lexicon, how to use an emotion lexicon, how to draw meaningful inferences, and how to judge success.

Saif M. Mohammad