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The Nature of Emotions

by Plutchik

Figure 1.
Author’s three-dimensional circumplex model describes the relations among emotion concepts, which are analogous to the colors on a color wheel. The cone’s vertical dimension represents intensity, and the circle represents degrees of similarity among the emotions. The eight sectors are designed to indicate that there are eight primary emotion dimensions defined by the theory arranged as four pairs of opposites. In the exploded model the emotions in the blank spaces are the primary dyads—emotions that are mixtures of two of the primary emotions.



Figure 2.
Although emotional substrates cannot always be discerned in the behavior of nonhuman animals, many stimuli are experienced by people and animals alike and result in prototypical behavior followed by, generally, the reestablishment of an equilibruim state that might not have been achieved without the impulse precipitated by the inner state. In human experience it is common to use the term “emotion” to describe the feeling state, but in fact emotion is considerably more complex.

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