While earlier psychology seems to suggest that we only have around seven or so basic emotions, newer studies are suggesting that this could be a bit off. How many emotions do you think we have?
A study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences tells us that there are as many as 27 different categories of emotions. Yes, I said categories. Alan S. Cowen and Dacher Keltner from the University of California, Berkeley found these categories. In order to do so, they used around 2,200 different short video clips to try and evoke a spectrum of emotions.
These videos ranged from kittens playing with dogs to slow high fives and everything in between. They found emotions are not always quite as clear and distinct as we would like for them to be but were still able to observe quite a few of them. They named these categories as follows:
- Sexual desire
- Empathetic pain
- Aesthetic appreciation
These researchers actually created an interactive map that shows all of the different videos they used and how each of the categories can contribute to your reaction. You can give it a go by clicking here. It seems, for the most part, that we are bad at recognizing which emotions we are experiencing, so this is definitely a step in the right direction. If you give this map a go let us know what you find.
For some information on the science of emotions, in general, check out the video below. Getting to know yourself and being aware of your emotions is very important. If you take control of how you feel, no one can influence your opinion of yourself. Our emotions can and do tell us so quite a bit, so, if you know what to look for, you can get to know yourself on a much deeper level.