When we are feeling something, we don’t really stop to define that emotion or think about the exact emotion that we are experiencing. We just feel and go through it; may it be sadness, anger or happiness. As human beings, we experience a plethora of feelings and emotions in our lifetime that range over several forms and types. This article is an attempt to list down an extensive list of those emotions.
The word ’emotion’ encompasses a broad range of feelings, behavior and changes in the body and mind. Noted professor and psychologist, Robert Plutchik listed the basic or main types of emotions as follows:
These, he said, can be classified as primary, secondary and tertiary emotions. Along with the primary emotions, we also experience secondary emotions which are a direct reaction of the primary emotions. For instance, a person may feel ashamed or guilty after experiencing the primary emotion of fear.
Plutchik also stated that humans experienced not only primary and secondary emotions, but tertiary emotions as well. These basic emotions along with the subsequent secondary and tertiary emotions are mentioned below.
Basic Human Emotions
Fear is a response to impending danger. It is a survival mechanism that is a reaction to some negative stimulus. It may be a mild caution or an extreme phobia. If the fear is trivial, it is called “trifling fear” or if the danger seems formidable it is a “serious fear”.
One secondary emotion in this category is “nervousness”. The various tertiary emotions relating to this sub-category are:
Another secondary emotion in this category is “horror”. There are various tertiary emotions in this sub-category. The list of emotions is as follows:
Joy or happiness has shades of enjoyment, satisfaction and pleasure. There is a sense of well-being, inner peace, love, safety and contentment. There is an existence of both, positive thinking and positive activities.
The first secondary emotion is “cheerfulness”. This comprises a myriad of tertiary emotions like:
Zest is another secondary emotion encompassing different tertiary emotions like:
The other emotions included in this category are contentment, relief, optimism, pride and enthrallment.
Love arises from a feeling of profound oneness. Love can be platonic, romantic, religious or familial. There are certain nuances to love regarding bonding, friendship, altruism and philanthropy. As per psychology, love is to lend self-esteem to another.
There are three secondary emotions – affection, longing and lust.
Affection includes the following tertiary emotions:
Lust is related to different tertiary emotions like:
Sadness is necessarily related to a feeling of loss and disadvantage. If this feeling drowns the individual, it may lead to a state of depression. When a person can be observed to be quiet, less energetic and withdrawn to himself it may be inferred that sadness exists. Such an individual usually has a sloping body, stuck out lips and a downcast appearance of the head.
The secondary emotion “suffering” includes agony, hurt and anguish. Another secondary emotion “disappointment” comprises tertiary emotions like dismay and displeasure. “Shame” is a secondary emotion that can be linked to tertiary emotions like guilt, remorse and regret.
The secondary emotion “neglect” can be understood by the following tertiary emotions list.
Feelings of sympathy and pity are also included in this category.
Surprise means the showing up of an unexpected result. When one experiences surprise, it is accompanied by raising of the eyebrows, horizontal lines on the forehead, open mouth, stretched skin below the eyebrows and wide open eyelids. Depending on the intensity, the mouth may not open, but only the jaw may drop. A momentary raise in the eyebrows is the most common evidence of surprise.
There are related tertiary emotions like:
Anger is evoked due to injustice, conflict, humiliation, negligence or betrayal. If the anger is active, the individual attacks the target, verbally or physically. If the anger is passive, the person silently sulks and feels tension and hostility. Often, when one empathizes with another, anger may be displayed. If the purpose of the source of pain is known, the magnitude of anger is altered.
One secondary emotion “rage” is further differentiated into tertiary emotions like:
Frustration and exasperation are similar types of tertiary emotions.
The secondary emotion “irritation” involves tertiary emotions like:
Another secondary emotion “disgust” comprises tertiary emotions like:
Some other tertiary emotions include jealousy and torment.
List of Human Emotions
Due to the sheer vastness and complexity involved, it is difficult to exactly define and enlist all the emotions experienced by humans. Ask any person on the street and he will say that emotion is a spontaneous feeling about any person, thing, or experience. Emotions are subjective, based on perception and unique to each individual. Some people may have more of one or some may lack in others. It is said the more emotions one experiences, the more colorful life is. Emotions help us humans to communicate what we feel toward certain situations, people, things, and cope with everyday life situations.