Meaning and Types of Emotions

  • In their book “Discovering Psychology,” authors Don Hockenbury and Sandra E. Hockenbury suggest that emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components:
    • Subjective experience: Two people can be angry in two different ways in the same situation.
    • Physiological response: Sweating, increase in heartbeats,
    • Behavioural or expressive response: screaming, freezing, laughing.

Types of Emotions

Psychologist Paul Ekman suggested that six basic emotions are universal throughout human cultures: 

  1. Fear
  2. Disgust 
  3. Anger
  4. Surprise 
  5. Happiness and
  6. Sadness.

But many other emotions can be divided into positive or negative.

Positive emotions include

  • Confidence
  • Calmness
  • Poise
  • Enthusiasm
  • Exhilaration
  • Contentment

Negative emotions include

  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety

Paul Ekman expanded his list to include several other basic emotions, including embarrassment, excitement, contemptshame, pride, satisfaction, and amusement.

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