The wheel of emotions: What it is and what it's for.
Posted by eduardovivo
9th Mar 2020

It is a tool created by the American psychologist Robert Plutchik that serves as a great help to identify which are the basic emotions that are paramount to our survival and the rest of the more complex emotions.

The Plutchik theory is constituted by eight basic emotions which almost never appear alone, but are expressed in different degrees of intensity.

Joy: is a "positive" emotion, which is expressed as a state of well-being and satisfaction with respect to oneself and the general conditions of life. Its most basic degree manifests itself as serenity, while the most complex takes the form of ecstasy. Joy can be combined in many different ways with other basic emotions.
Trust is an essential emotion, which implies the firm belief that one can act without danger of harm or damage. When tempered, it takes the form of acceptance, a sincere integration of lived events into the narrative of one's experience. When it is inflamed, it becomes admiration, which expresses a total exaltation of the appreciation that is projected onto a person or thing. Its extreme is aversion.
Fear is a basic, universal and instinctive reaction. In its most subtle degree it is expressed as apprehension (an uncertainty pregnant with pessimistic expectation) and at the highest level it becomes a real terror or dread (a state that often displays fighting or fleeing behavior). Fear, an adaptive reaction to threats in the environment, has anger as its opposite.
Surprise is an emotion whose nature tends to be considered neutral, and which is a reaction to changing and unpredictable circumstances in the immediate environment. Depending on its degree, the mildest would be distraction and the most intense would be astonishment.
Sadness is an emotional response that depends on the loss, which allows us to obtain social support from the activation of the mirror neurons of those who observe it. The mildest degree is isolation and the most severe is depression.
Aversion is an emotion suggestive of rejection, and of a crude and deliberate will to avoid. In its faintest limits it is expressed as boredom, while in the most intense it becomes disgust or abhorrence.
Anger is a state that arises as a direct response to an affront, especially when it is attributed to the clear will of a third party, this being a perceptive element of great relevance for its appearance. In its mildest form it takes the form of simple anger and in the most extreme it becomes fury.
Anticipation: The lowest profile of this emotion is interest, which implies a moderate degree of attraction to a particular object or stimulus, and the highest is vigilance.

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