Contrasting and categorization of emotions

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The contrasting and categorization of emotions describes how emotions are thought to relate to each other. Several proposals have been made for organizing them into groups.

Lists of emotions[edit]

Humans experience emotion, with evidence used that they influence action, thoughts and behavior. Emotions are categorized into various affects, which correspond to the current situation.[1] An affect is the range of feeling experienced.[2] Both positive and negative emotions are needed in our daily lives.[3]

Many theories of emotion have been proposed,[4] with contrasting views.[5]

Basic emotions[edit]

Sixteen faces expressing the human passions. Wellcome L0068375 (cropped).jpg
  • William James in 1890 proposed four basic emotions: fear, grief, love, and rage, based on bodily involvement.[6]
  • Paul Ekman identified six basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.[7] Wallace V. Friesen and Phoebe C. Ellsworth worked with him on the same basic structure.[8] The emotions can be linked to facial expressions. In the 1990s, Ekman proposed an expanded list of basic emotions, including a range of positive and negative emotions that are not all encoded in facial muscles.[9] The newly included emotions are: Amusement, Contempt, Contentment, Embarrassment, Excitement, Guilt, Pride in achievement, Relief, Satisfaction, Sensory pleasure, and Shame.[9]
  • Richard and Bernice Lazarus in 1996 expanded the list to 15 emotions: aesthetic experience, anger, anxiety, compassion, depression, envy, fright, gratitude, guilt, happiness, hope, jealousy, love, pride, relief, sadness, and shame, in the book Passion and Reason.[10][11]
  • Researchers at University of California, Berkeley identified 34 categories of emotion: admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, contempt, craving, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, relief, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire and surprise.[12] This was based on 2185 short videos intended to elicit a certain emotion. These were then modeled onto a "map" of emotions.[13]

Contrasting basic emotions[edit]

A 2009 review[14] of theories of emotion identifies and contrasts fundamental emotions according to three key criteria for mental experiences that:

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

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

Kind of emotion Positive emotions Negative emotions
Related to object properties Interest, curiosity, enthusiasm Indifference, habituation, boredom
Attraction, desire, admiration Aversion, disgust, revulsion
Surprise, amusement Alarm, panic
Future appraisal Hope, excitement Fear, anxiety, dread
Event-related Gratitude, thankfulness Anger, rage
Joy, elation, triumph, jubilation Sorrow, grief
Patience Frustration, restlessness
Contentment Discontentment, disappointment
Self-appraisal Humility, modesty Pride, arrogance
Social Charity Avarice, greed, miserliness, envy, jealousy
Sympathy Cruelty
Cathected Love Hate

HUMAINE's proposal for EARL[edit]

The emotion annotation and representation language (EARL) proposed by the Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotion (HUMAINE) classifies 48 emotions.[15]

Parrott's emotions by groups[edit]

A tree-structured list of emotions was described in Shaver et al. (1987),[16] and also featured in Parrott (2001).[17]

Primary emotion Secondary emotion Tertiary emotion
Love Affection Adoration · Fondness · Liking · Attraction · 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 · Bitterness · Hatred · Scorn · Spite · Vengefulness · Dislike · Resentment
Disgust Revulsion · Contempt · Loathing
Envy Jealousy
Torment Torment
Sadness Suffering Agony · Anguish · Hurt
Sadness Depression · Despair · Gloom · Glumness · Unhappiness · 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]

The primary, secondary and tertiary dyads.

In 1980, Robert Plutchik diagrammed a wheel of eight emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger and anticipation, inspired by his Ten Postulates.[18][19] Plutchik also theorized twenty-four "Primary", "Secondary", and "Tertiary" dyads (feelings composed of two emotions).[20][21][22][23][24][25][26] The wheel emotions can be paired in four groups:

Primary dyad = one petal apart = Love = Joy + Trust
Secondary dyad = two petals apart = Envy = Sadness + Anger
Tertiary dyad = three petals apart = Shame = Fear + Disgust
Opposite emotions = four petals apart = AnticipationSurprise

There are also triads, emotions formed from 3 primary emotions.[27] This leads to a combination of 24 dyads and 32 triads, making 56 emotions at 1 intensity level.[28] Emotions can be mild or intense;[29] for example, distraction is a mild form of surprise, and rage is an intense form of anger. The kinds of relation between each pair of emotions are:

Emotions and opposites
Mild emotion Mild opposite Basic emotion Basic opposite Intense emotion Intense opposite
Serenity Pensiveness
Trust Disgust
Surprise Anticipation
Dyads (Combinations)
Human feelings Emotions Opposite feelings Emotions
Anticipation + Joy Disapproval
Surprise + Sadness
Anticipation + Trust Unbelief
Surprise + Disgust
Anticipation + Fear Outrage
Surprise + Anger
Joy + Trust Remorse
Sadness + Disgust
Joy + Fear Envy
Sadness + Anger
Joy + Surprise Pessimism Sadness + Anticipation
Trust + Fear Contempt
Disgust + Anger
Curiosity Trust + Surprise Cynicism Disgust + Anticipation
Trust + Sadness Morbidness
Disgust + Joy
Fear + Surprise Aggressiveness
Anger + Anticipation
Despair Fear + Sadness Pride
Anger + Joy
Fear + Disgust Dominance Anger + Trust
Opposite combinations[30]
Human feelings Emotions
Joy + Sadness
Trust + Disgust
Fear + Anger
Surprise + Anticipation

Similar emotions in the wheel are adjacent to each other.[31]

Six emotion axes[edit]

Some people[who?] list six emotion axes with different opposite emotions, and different emotions coming from ranges.[32]

Emotional flow
Axis -1.0 -0.5 0 0 +0.5 +1.0
AnxietyConfidence Anxiety Worry Discomfort Comfort Hopeful Confident
BoredomFascination Ennui Boredom Indifference Interest Curiosity Intrigue
FrustrationEuphoria Frustration Puzzlement Confusion Insight Enlightenment Epiphany
DispiritedEncouraged Dispirited Disappointed Dissatisfied Satisfied Thrilled Enthusiastic
TerrorEnchantment Terror Dread Apprehension Calm Anticipatory Excited
HumiliationPride Humiliated Embarrassed Self-conscious Pleased Satisfied Proud

They also made a model labeling phases of learning emotions.[32]

Negative Affect Positive Affect
Constructive Learning Disappointment
Un-learning Frustration
Fresh research

The Hourglass of Emotions[edit]

The 2012 book The Hourglass of Emotions was based on Robert Plutchik's model, but categorised the emotions into four sentic dimensions. It contrasted anger, anticipation, joy, and trust as positive emotions, and fear, surprise, sadness and disgust as negative.[33][34]

Emotional flow
Dimension +3 +2 +1 -1 -2 -3
Sensitivity Rage Anger Annoyance Apprehension Fear Terror
Attention Vigilance Anticipation Interest Distraction Surprise Amazement
Pleasantness Ecstasy Joy Serenity Pensiveness Sadness Grief
Aptitude Admiration Trust Acceptance Boredom Disgust Loathing
Advanced emotions
Dimensions High Sensitivity Low Sensitivity High Pleasantness Low Pleasantness
High Attention Aggressiveness Anxiety Optimism Frustration
Low Attention Rejection Awe Frivolity Disapproval
High Aptitude Rivalry Submission Love Envy
Low Aptitude Contempt Coercion Gloat Remorse

The Book of Human Emotions[edit]

Tiffany Watt Smith listed 154 different worldwide emotions and feelings.[35]

Mapping facial expressions[edit]

Scientists map twenty-one different facial emotions[37][38] expanded from Paul Ekman's six basic emotions of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise:

Happy Sad Fearful Angry Surprised Disgusted
Appalled Fearfully
Awed Angrily
Hatred Disgustedly

Emotional equations[edit]

A book written by Chip Conley showed how emotions and feelings are organised using mathematical terms.[39]

Despair = Suffering - Meaning
Disappointment = Expectations - Reality
Regret = Disappointment + Responsibility
Jealousy =
Envy =
Anxiety = Uncertainty x Powerlessness
Calling =
Workaholism =
Flow =
Curiosity = Wonder + Awe
Authenticity = Self-Awareness x Courage
Narcissism = (Self-Esteem)2 x Entitlement
Integrity = Authenticity x Invisibility x Reliability
Happiness = Love - Fear
Thriving =
Faith =
Wisdom = Experience

Atlas of Emotions[edit]

The Dalai Lama made a website based on the emotions of enjoyment, disgust, anger, fear and sadness with the help of Paul Ekman.[40][41] The emotions were similar to the ones found in Inside Out, a film that Paul Ekman advised.[42]

Emotion and Stress[edit]

Emotions and stress are connected, so stressful situations produce emotion. Environments that make stress also make emotions.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lisa Feldman Barrett. "Solving the Emotion Paradox : Categorization and the Experience of Emotion" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  2. ^ "Emotions and Moods" (PDF). Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  3. ^ Parrott, W. Gerrod (27 January 2014). The Positive Side of Negative Emotions. Guilford Publications. ISBN 9781462513338. Retrieved 19 December 2018 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Comparing The 5 Theories of Emotion – Brain Blogger". Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  5. ^ Candland, Douglas (23 November 2017). Emotion. iUniverse. ISBN 9780595270262. Retrieved 23 November 2017 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ James, William (1 April 2007). The Principles of Psychology. Cosimo, Inc. ISBN 9781602063136. Retrieved 20 October 2017 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Handel, Steven (2011-05-24). "Classification of Emotions". Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Are There Basic Emotions?" (PDF). Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b Ekman, Paul (1999), "Basic Emotions", in Dalgleish, T; Power, M (eds.), Handbook of Cognition and Emotion (PDF), Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons
  10. ^ Lazarus, Richard S.; Lazarus, Bernice N. (23 September 1996). Passion and Reason: Making Sense of Our Emotions. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195104615. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Emotional Competency – Recognize these emotions". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Psychologists Identify Twenty Seven Distinct Categories of Emotion – Psychology". Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  13. ^ "The Emotions Evoked by Video". Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  14. ^ Robinson, D. L. (2009). "Brain function, mental experience and personality". The Netherlands Journal of Psychology. pp. 152–167.
  15. ^ "HUMAINE Emotion Annotation and Representation Language". Archived from the original on April 11, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2006.
  16. ^ 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): 1061–86. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.52.6.1061. PMID 3598857.
  17. ^ Parrott, W. (2001). Emotions in Social Psychology. Key Readings in Social Psychology. Philadelphia: Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0863776830.
  18. ^ "Basic Emotions—Plutchik". Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  19. ^ Plutchik, R. "The Nature of Emotions". American Scientist. Archived from the original on July 16, 2001. Retrieved 14 April 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  20. ^ "Robert Plutchik's Psychoevolutionary Theory of Basic Emotions" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  21. ^ Jonathan Turner (1 June 2000). On the Origins of Human Emotions: A Sociological Inquiry Into the Evolution of Human Affect. Stanford University Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-8047-6436-0.
  22. ^ Atifa Athar; M. Saleem Khan; Khalil Ahmed; Aiesha Ahmed; Nida Anwar (June 2011). "A Fuzzy Inference System for Synergy Estimation of Simultaneous Emotion Dynamics in Agents". International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research. 2 (6).
  23. ^ TenHouten, Warren D. (1 December 2016). Alienation and Affect. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781317678533. Retrieved 25 June 2019 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ Chorianopoulos, Konstantinos; Divitini, Monica; Hauge, Jannicke Baalsrud; Jaccheri, Letizia; Malaka, Rainer (24 September 2015). Entertainment Computing - ICEC 2015: 14th International Conference, ICEC 2015, Trondheim, Norway, September 29 - October 2, 2015, Proceedings. Springer. ISBN 9783319245898. Retrieved 25 June 2019 – via Google Books.
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  26. ^ O'Shaughnessy, John (4 December 2012). Consumer Behaviour: Perspectives, Findings and Explanations. Macmillan International Higher Education. ISBN 9781137003782. Retrieved 25 June 2019 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ Plutchik, Robert (31 December 1991). The Emotions. University Press of America. ISBN 9780819182869. Retrieved 31 December 2018 – via Google Books.
  28. ^ Izard, Carroll Ellis (31 December 1971). "The face of emotion". Appleton-Century-Crofts. Retrieved 31 December 2018 – via Google Books.
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  30. ^ TenHouten, Warren D. (1 December 2016). Alienation and Affect. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781317678533. Retrieved 25 June 2019 – via Google Books.
  31. ^ Plutchik, Robert (16 September 1991). The Emotions. University Press of America. p. 110. ISBN 9780819182869. Retrieved 16 September 2017 – via Google Books.
  32. ^ a b Kort, B.; Reilly, R.; Picard, R.W. (2001). "An affective model of interplay between emotions and learning: Reengineering educational pedagogy-building a learning companion". Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies. pp. 43–46. doi:10.1109/ICALT.2001.943850. ISBN 0-7695-1013-2 – via
  33. ^ "LNCS 7403 – The Hourglass of Emotions" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  34. ^ Cambria, Erik; Livingstone, Andrew; Hussain, Amir (15 January 2019). "The Hourglass of Emotions". Retrieved 15 January 2019 – via Semantic Scholar.
  35. ^ Tiffany Watt Smith. "The Book of Human Emotions: An Encyclopedia of Feeling from Anger to Wanderlust" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  36. ^ "Invisibilia: A Man Finds An Explosive Emotion Locked In A Word". Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  37. ^ "Happily disgusted? Scientists map facial expressions for 21 emotions". The Guardian. 31 March 2014.
  38. ^ Jacque Wilson (2014-04-04). "Happily disgusted? 15 new emotions ID'd". Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  39. ^ Conley, Chip (3 May 2012). Emotional Equations: Simple formulas to help your life work better. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 9780748127900.
  40. ^ Design, Stamen. "The Ekmans' Atlas of Emotion". The Ekmans' Atlas of Emotions. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  41. ^ "Atlas of Emotions > Stamen Design". Stamen Design. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  42. ^ Randall, Kevin (6 May 2016). "Inner Peace? The Dalai Lama Made a Website for That". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  43. ^ Evans-Martin, F. Fay (5 January 2019). Emotion and Stress. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438119564 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]