Contrasting and categorization of emotions

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The contrasting and categorisation of emotions describes how emotions are thought to relate to each other. Various recent proposals of such groupings are described in the following sections.

Contrasting basic emotions[edit]

The following table,[1] based on a wide review of current theories, identifies and contrasts the fundamental emotions according to a set of definite criteria. The three key criteria used include mental experiences that:

  1. have a strongly motivating subjective quality like pleasure or pain;
  2. are in response to some event or object that is either real or imagined;
  3. motivate particular kinds of behaviour.

The combination of these attributes distinguish the emotions from sensations, feelings and moods.

Kind of Emotion Positive Emotions Negative Emotions
Related to Object Properties Interest, curiosity Alarm, panic
Attraction, desire, admiration Aversion, disgust, revulsion
Surprise, amusement Indifference, familiarity, habituation
Future Appraisal Hope Fear
Event-Related Gratitude, thankfulness Anger, rage
Joy, elation, triumph, jubilation Sorrow, grief
Relief Frustration, disappointment, dreadfulness
Self-Appraisal Pride in achievement, self-confidence, sociability Embarrassment, shame, guilt, remorse
Cathected Love Hate

HUMAINE's proposal for EARL (Emotion Annotation and Representation Language)[edit]

The emotion annotation and representation language (EARL) proposed by the Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotion (HUMAINE) classifies 48 emotions.[2]

Parrott's emotions by groups[edit]

A tree-structured list of emotions was described in Shaver et al. (1987),[3] and also featured in Parrott (2001).[4][unreliable source?][5]

Primary emotion Secondary emotion Tertiary emotion
Love Affection Adoration · Fondness · Liking · Attractiveness · Caring · Tenderness · Compassion · Sentimentality
Lust/Sexual desire Desire · Passion · Infatuation
Longing Longing
Joy Cheerfulness Amusement · Bliss · Gaiety · Glee · Jolliness · Joviality · Joy · Delight · Enjoyment · Gladness · Happiness · Jubilation · Elation · Satisfaction · Ecstasy · Euphoria
Zest Enthusiasm · Zeal · Excitement · Thrill · Exhilaration
Contentment Pleasure
Pride Triumph
Optimism Eagerness · Hope
Enthrallment Enthrallment · Rapture
Relief Relief
Surprise Surprise Amazement · Astonishment
Anger Irritability Aggravation · Agitation · Annoyance · Grouchy · Grumpy · Crosspatch
Exasperation Frustration
Rage Anger · Outrage · Fury · Wrath · Hostility · Ferocity · Bitter · Hatred · Scorn · Spite · Vengefulness · Dislike · Resentment
Disgust Revulsion · Contempt · Loathing
Envy Jealousy
Torment Torment
Sadness Suffering Agony · Anguish · Hurt
Sadness Depression · Despair · Gloom · Glumness · Unhappy · Grief · Sorrow · Woe · Misery · Melancholy
Disappointment Dismay · Displeasure
Shame Guilt · Regret · Remorse
Neglect Alienation · Defeatism · Dejection · Embarrassment · Homesickness · Humiliation · Insecurity · Insult · Isolation · Loneliness · Rejection
Sympathy Pity · Mono no aware · Sympathy
Fear Horror Alarm · Shock · Fear · Fright · Horror · Terror · Panic · Hysteria · Mortification
Nervousness Anxiety · Suspense · Uneasiness · Apprehension (fear) · Worry · Distress · Dread

Plutchik's wheel of emotions[edit]

Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

In 1980 Robert Plutchik constructed a wheel-like diagram of emotions visualising eight basic emotions, plus eight derivative emotions each composed of two basic ones.[6]

Basic emotion Basic opposite
Joy Sadness
Trust Disgust
Fear Anger
Surprise Anticipation
Human feelings (results of emotions) Emotions Opposite
Optimism Anticipation + Joy Disapproval
Love Joy + Trust Remorse
Submission Trust + Fear Contempt
Awe Fear + Surprise Aggression
Disapproval Surprise + Sadness Optimism
Remorse Sadness + Disgust Love
Contempt Disgust + Anger Submission
Aggressiveness Anger + Anticipation Awe

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robinson, D. L. (2009). "Brain function, mental experience and personality" 64. The Netherlands Journal of Psychology. pp. 152–167. 
  2. ^ "HUMAINE Emotion Annotation and Representation Language". Retrieved June 30, 2006. 
  3. ^ Shaver, P., Schwartz, J., Kirson, D., & O'connor, C. (1987). Emotion knowledge: further exploration of a prototype approach. Journal of personality and social psychology, 52(6), 1061.
  4. ^ "Basic Emotions". Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  5. ^ Parrott, W. (2001), "Emotions in Social Psychology", Psychology Press, Philadelphia.
  6. ^ Plutchik, R. "The Nature of Emotions". American Scientist. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 

External links[edit]