The 6 Kinds of Standard Emotions and Their Result on Human Habits

There are various kinds of feelings that have an impact on how we live and interact with others. Sometimes, it may look like we are ruled by these emotions. The options we make, the actions we take, and the perceptions we have are all affected by the emotions we are experiencing at any given minute.

Psychologists have also tried to recognize the different kinds of feelings that people experience. A couple of different theories have emerged to classify and discuss the emotions that people feel.

Standard Feelings

Throughout the 1970s, psychologist Paul Eckman identified six fundamental emotions that he recommended were universally experienced in all human cultures. The feelings he identified were joy, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, and anger. He later expanded his list of fundamental emotions to consist of such things as pride, shame, embarrassment, and excitement.

The 6 basic types of feelings

Integrating Emotions

Psychologist Robert Plutchik put forth a “wheel of emotions” that worked something like the color wheel. Feelings can be combined to form various feelings, just like colors can be mixed to create other shades.

According to this theory, the more standard emotions act something like foundation. More complex, in some cases mixed emotions, are blendings of these more standard ones. For instance, basic feelings such as joy and trust can be combined to develop love.

A 2017 study recommends that there are far more basic emotions than formerly believed.1 in the research study published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, researchers determined 27 various categories of emotion.

Rather than being totally unique, however, the scientists found that people experience these feelings along a gradient. Let’s take a better look at a few of the basic kinds of feelings and explore the effect they have on human behavior.


Of all the various types of feelings, joy tends to be the one that individuals pursue the most. Joy is typically defined as a pleasant emotion that is identified by feelings of contentment, joy, satisfaction, complete satisfaction, and wellness.

Research on happiness has increased significantly since the 1960s within a variety of disciplines, including the branch of psychology known as positive psychology. This type of feeling is sometimes revealed through:

  • Facial expressions: such as smiling
  • Body language: such as an unwinded position
  • Tone of voice: a positive, enjoyable way of speaking

While joy is considered one of the basic human feelings, the things we believe will develop joy tend to be heavily affected by culture. Pop culture influences tend to stress that attaining particular things such as buying a house or having a high-paying task will result in joy.

The realities of what in fact contributes to joy are often far more intricate and more extremely personalized. People have actually long thought that happiness and health were linked, and research has supported the idea that joy can contribute in both physical and psychological health.

Happiness has been connected to a variety of outcomes consisting of increased longevity and increased marital complete satisfaction.3 On the other hand, unhappiness has been connected to a range of bad health results.

Stress, stress and anxiety, anxiety, and solitude, for example, have been linked to things such as lowered immunity, increased inflammation, and reduced life expectancy.


Sadness is another type of emotion often defined as a transient emotional state identified by feelings of dissatisfaction, sorrow, despondence, disinterest, and moistened state of mind.

Like other feelings, unhappiness is something that all people experience from time to time. In some cases, individuals can experience extended and serious periods of unhappiness that can turn into anxiety. Sadness can be revealed in a number of ways consisting of:.

  • Sobbing.
  • Dampened mood.
  • Lethargy.
  • Tranquility.
  • Withdrawal from others.

The type and seriousness of sadness can differ relying on the source, and how individuals manage such feelings can also differ.

Unhappiness can often lead individuals to take part in coping mechanisms such as preventing other people, self-medicating, and ruminating on negative thoughts. Such behaviors can really intensify feelings of unhappiness and prolong the period of the feeling.


Fear is a powerful feeling that can also play an important function in survival. When you face some sort of risk and experience worry, you go through what is known as the battle or flight response.

Your muscles become tense, your heart rate and respiration increase, and your mind ends up being more alert, priming your body to either run from the threat or stand and fight.

This reaction helps ensure that you are prepared to effectively handle risks in your environment. Expressions of this kind of emotion can include:

  • Facial expressions: such as broadening the eyes and pulling back the chin.
  • Body movement: attempts to hide or flea from the risk.
  • Physiological responses: such as quick breathing and heartbeat.

Naturally, not everybody experiences fear in the same way. Some people might be more sensitive to fear and certain situations or items might be most likely to trigger this emotion.

Worry is the emotional action to an instant threat. We can also develop a comparable response to expected risks or perhaps our thoughts about prospective risks, and this is what we generally think of as anxiety. Social anxiety, for instance, involves an expected worry of social circumstances.

Some individuals, on the other hand, really seek out fear-provoking circumstances. Extreme sports and other thrills can be fear-inducing, but some people seem to thrive and even enjoy such sensations.

Repetitive direct exposure to a worry object or situation can cause familiarity and acclimation, which can decrease sensations of worry and anxiety.

This is the idea behind exposure therapy, in which individuals are slowly exposed to the important things that terrify them in a regulated and safe manner. Ultimately, feelings of worry start to decrease.


Disgust is another of the initial 6 fundamental emotions described by Eckman. Disgust can be displayed in a variety of methods including:

  • Body movement: turning away from the object of disgust.
  • Physical reactions: such as throwing up or retching.
  • Facial expressions: such as wrinkling the nose and curling the upper lip.

This sense of revulsion can stem from a variety of things, consisting of an unpleasant taste, sight, or odor. Scientists think that this emotion progressed as a response to foods that might be hazardous or fatal. When people smell or taste foods that have actually spoiled, for instance, disgust is a normal reaction.

Poor health, infection, blood, rot, and death can also trigger a disgust reaction. This may be the body’s method of avoiding things that might bring communicable illness.

People can also experience ethical disgust when they observe others taking part in behaviors that they discover horrible, unethical, or evil.


Anger can be a particularly effective emotion characterized by sensations of hostility, agitation, frustration, and antagonism towards others. Like fear, anger can play a part in your body’s battle or flight action.

When a threat produces sensations of anger, you may be inclined to fend off the threat and protect yourself. Anger is typically displayed through:

  • Facial expressions: such as frowning or glaring.
  • Body language: such as taking a strong stance or turning away.
  • Tone of voice: such as speaking gruffly or yelling.
  • Physiological reactions: such as sweating or turning red.
  • Aggressive habits: such as striking, kicking, or throwing things.

While anger is frequently considered an unfavorable emotion, it can often be a good idea. It can be constructive in assisting clarify your needs in a relationship, and it can also encourage you to act and find services to things that are troubling you.

Anger can become a problem, nevertheless, when it is excessive or expressed in manner ins which are unhealthy, dangerous, or hazardous to others. Uncontrolled anger can quickly turn to aggression, abuse, or violence.

This type of feeling can have both psychological and physical effects. Uncontrolled anger can make it difficult to make rational choices and can even have an influence on your physical health.

Anger has been linked to coronary heart diseases and diabetes. It has likewise been linked to behaviors that pose health risks such as aggressive driving, alcohol usage, and smoking.


Surprise is another one of the six standard kinds of human feelings initially explained by Eckman. Surprise is typically rather quick and is identified by a physiological startle reaction following something unexpected.

This kind of feeling can be positive, unfavorable, or neutral. An unpleasant surprise, for example, may involve someone jumping out from behind a tree and terrifying you as you stroll to your cars and truck in the evening.

An example of an enjoyable surprise would be getting back to discover that your closest pals have actually gathered to commemorate your birthday. Surprise is typically characterized by:

  • Facial expressions: such as raising the eyebrows, expanding the eyes, and opening the mouth.
  • Physical reactions: such as leaping back.
  • Verbal responses: such as screaming, screaming, or gasping.

Surprise is another kind of emotion that can trigger the fight or flight reaction. When shocked, individuals may experience a burst of adrenaline that assists prepare the body to either battle or flee.

Surprise can have essential effects on human habits. For instance, research study has revealed that people tend to disproportionately notice unexpected occasions.

This is why unexpected and uncommon events in the news tend to stand out in memory more than others. Research has actually also found that people tend to be more swayed by surprising arguments and learn more from surprising details.

Other Types of Emotions.

The six basic emotions explained by Eckman are simply a portion of the many different types of emotions that individuals can experiencing. Eckman’s theory suggests that these core emotions are universal throughout cultures all over the world.

However, other theories and brand-new research continue to check out the many various types of emotions and how they are categorized. Eckman later included a variety of other feelings to his list but recommended that unlike his original six emotions, not all of these might necessarily be encoded through facial expressions. A few of the feelings he later on recognized consisted of:

  • Amusement.
  • Contempt.
  • Contentment.
  • Humiliation.
  • Enjoyment.
  • Guilt.
  • Pride in achievement.
  • Relief.
  • Fulfillment.
  • Shame.

Other Theories of Feeling.

Just like many ideas in psychology, not all theorists settle on how to categorize feelings or what the basic feelings really are. While Eckman’s theory is one of the very best known, other theorists have proposed their own concepts about what emotions comprise the core of the human experience.

Some scientists have suggested that there are only two or three fundamental feelings. Others have recommended that feelings exist in something of a hierarchy. Main feelings such as love, pleasure, surprise, anger, and sadness can then be further broken down into secondary emotions. Love, for example, includes secondary feelings, such as affection and yearning.

These secondary emotions may then be broken down still further into what are called tertiary emotions. The secondary feeling of affection consists of tertiary emotions, such as taste, caring, empathy, and inflammation.

A more current research study suggests that there are at least 27 distinct feelings, all of which are highly interconnected.11 After evaluating the responses of more than 800 guys to more than 2,000 video clips, scientists produced an interactive map to show how these emotions belong to one another.

“We found that 27 unique measurements, not 6, were needed to represent the method hundreds of individuals dependably reported sensation in action to each video,” described the senior scientist Dacher Keltner, professors’ director of the Greater Good Science Center.

In other words, emotions are not states that take place in isolation. Instead, the research study suggests that there are gradients of emotion and that these various feelings are deeply inter-related.

Alan Cowen, the research study’s lead author and doctoral student in neuroscience at UC Berkeley, recommends that better clarifying the nature of our emotions can play an essential role in helping researchers, psychologists, and physicians learn more about how emotions underlie brain activity, behavior, and state of mind. By building a much better understanding of these states, he hopes that scientists can establish improved treatments for psychiatric conditions.

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