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Types of Human Emotions

Updated on February 28, 2014

Need To Experience different types of Emotions to enjoy different feelings in life:

Emotion can be defined as a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious efforts and is often accompanied by psychological changes. As per Linda Davidoff definition- emotion is a feeling that is expressed through physiological functions like facial expressions, faster heartbeat and behavior such as joy, sad, aggression, crying, or covering the face with hands.

Habitually when we are engulfed with some unforeseen circumstances and in an attempt of annoying it we end up reacting weird because of our emotional discrepancy. We mostly react that way because Emotions are subject to a complex state of feeling which influences physical and psychological changes in a body via our behavior. As per Psychology and Philosophy emotion expresses positive or negative responses to external and internal stimuli.As emotion holds a vital role for human behavior lets know a bit about emotion and its types.


After prime research it has been acknowledged that there are two types of emotions:

  1. Primary Emotion.

  2. Secondary Emotion.

  1. Primary Emotion: The emotions which arise due to sudden direct occurrence is termed as Primary Emotion. For example: the irritation which we sensed after waiting for someone for a long time is a form of Primary Emotion. We react within a split fraction of second that’s the reason Primary Emotion is so important for us. On any such circumstances if we react in a positive way it is good but any negative approach can lead to some sort of trouble.
  2. Secondary Emotion: When sudden emotions triggered to a mixed reaction for example a person may feel ashamed as a result of becoming anxious or sad is termed as Secondary Emotion. Some people have different perspective towards behaviour like being anxious or sad can be regarded as a sign of weakness or can be considered as a negative aspect of the person.

According to the eminent psychologist Paul Ekman, the basic emotions can be categorised as: sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise. These emotions combine in different ways to form other emotions like compassion, boredom, embarrassment, frenzy, hunger and many more.
There are huge lists of human emotions that we are capable of experiencing but as we are not acquainted with it, we often relate any form of emotions to the common emotional syndrome like happiness, anger, love, confidence, anxiety, relaxed and stress.

Need To Experience different types of Emotions to enjoy different feelings in life:

Without knowing the diversities of emotions it is difficult to characterize emotional syndrome.But feeling happy, relaxed, cheerful, thrilled, energized cannot be put under same category of happy emotion. As we cannot draw a contrast of the different types of emotions within we end up feeling the same. By doing this we unintentionally take away the unique characteristics of feeling different emotions in our life.

The basic eight emotions as per study are:

Happiness → Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Happiness is a fuzzy concept and can mean many different things to many people. Part of the challenge of a science of happiness is to identify different concepts of happiness, and where applicable, split them into their components.

Sadness → Heart felt emotion of grief clouded our mind as a result of some pain of losing someone or hope is the feature of sad emotion. There are many different degrees of grief that we experience in our life and we mourn for it. The more is the pain we end up disrupted and lose our mental peace for a long time. This is mostly due to the psychological suffering in our heart that the sad emotion results in disappointment and we retired ourselves for a melancholy life.

Anger → Feeling of aversion, negligence or disappointment always made us feel low and we experience the human emotion which is anger. The characteristics of anger can be regarded as the irritation which turns into frustration as the range of intensity increases with the level of disappointment. It is usually a result of real or perceived wrongdoing. Some of the feelings like anger, passion, frustration and antipathy all relate to the emotion of anger. Anger turned within can lead to dejection and can lead someone opt for revenge.

Fear → Fear is a human emotion which gives us the instinct to respond to an unpleasant situation and react instantly to the source of danger. With the usage of our physical senses we try to evade the circumstances. Fear has hostile effect on our life. For example –if a family member or friend is bitten by a dog or fell in water, we adapt the fear within from dog or water in the latter stage of our life. This emotion of fear can cause post-traumatic stress disorder in our life which gives us the reason to feel apprehension, terror, panic, and paranoia.

Trust → One of the most important aspect of human emotion is the trust factor. It refers to an inner strength, or self-absurdness, and allows us to act on our intuition that we rely on certain situations, or people whom we love and care. This feeling comes from being secure, certain in ourselves, someone else, or a situation and faith in a process also characterize this emotion. Consistency and predictability increase trust. This is a sensitive emotional factor where distrust from anyone can have negative impact in our life.

Anticipation → Anticipation or being enthusiastic is an emotion which involves pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety which emerges due to uncertainty or desire then converts into the certain expectation that we will get what we decided. Considering some expected or longed-for good event we sense some tension. We anticipated for our future to know what is going to happen good or bad, sometime we anticipated for getting a job or purchase any good. Research has shown that when we are not thinking about other things we often default to musing. In other words, we daydream and anticipate.

Surprise → The repercussion of sudden incidents which can make us feel amazed is the expression of Surprise emotion. The feeling of surprise can be a good thing or a bad thing. As something happens suddenly so we are being bewildered, amazed, astonished or being startled by the incident. It is the reaction to something happening that was not anticipated. A “surprise party” for example could result in great joy and happiness, or dread and fear if someone does not like to be surprised.

Considering all these emotions and its characteristics we can try to take pleasure and pain in enjoying all the feelings in our life. A life without incidents would surely be dull, so let’s live all emotions to the fullest and cherish each moment for a nice life.


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