Feeling Emotions


Like it or not, we all have emotions. A few years ago, I wrote about the Five Basic Emotions. This is about the Six Basic Emotions, which is essentially the same thing:

Six Basic Emotions is a term that refers to the theory of American psychologists Paul Ekman and Wallace V. Friesen.

Ekman and Friesen identified six basic emotions based on studying the isolated culture of people from the Fori tribe in Papua New Guinea in 1972. The tribe members were able to identify these six emotions on the pictures.

After that, they took pictures of facial expressions of people from the Fori tribe with the same emotions and they presented these pictures to people of other races and cultures all over the world. They also interpreted the emotions on the pictures correctly.

Following six basic emotions were identified:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Surprise
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Fear


Round and Round

Here’s a useful Emotions Wheel:


I like how, according to the wheel, we can get to the basic emotions by feeling more “surface level” kinds of emotions. For example, if we want to feel happy, we can begin with Amused, then move toward Interested, until we land on feeling Happy. We can also reverse engineer it and see what basic emotion is at the core of the more nuanced (and sometimes confusing) feelings.

Have fun discovering and feeling your emotions!




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