Emotions – a glossary

According to his research, Paul Ekman, a U.S. anthropologist and psychologist, identified seven basic emotions that occur across cultures: Joy, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and contempt. He believes that all other emotions are composed of these basic emotions.

Now, studies at the University of California, Berkeley, have drawn a more nuanced picture of basic emotions. In a psychological experiment, 853 participants were shown 30 short videos designed to evoke emotions. The researchers analyzed the many emotions and discovered how they were related. In this analysis, 27 significant linearly independent patterns of shared variance between the categorical and free response reports of emotional experience were found, meaning people’s multiple-choice and free-response interpretations identified 27 of the same distinct varieties of emotional experience.

As a result, researchers led by neuroscientist Alan S. Cowen created an “Atlas of Human Emotions” with 27 different feelings. These are:

Fear, Disgust, Fright, Apprehension, Sexual Desire, Romance, Nostalgia, Sadness, Anger, Pain, Surprise, Relief, Excitement, Interest, Boredom, Confusion, Rapture, Serenity, Desire, Aesthetic Appreciation, Admiration, Worship, Joy, Amazement, Amusement, Satisfaction and Befuddlement.

We have dealt with the following emotions so far in this blog:

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