As this simplistic classification fails to define all the emotional upheaval we face, many phycologists have tried to differentiate emotions in a more scientific way. One such psychologists and researcher Robert Plutchik has simplified the study by developing the psychoevolutionary wheel of emotions. Plutchik correlates different emotions to colours in this wheel. Just like primary colours can be mixed to form different colours, basic emotions too combine to form complex emotions.
Basic emotions combine just like primary colours to form complex emotional dyads - primary, secondary and tertiary. Thus love is a combination of joy and trust. Still more complex emotions are formed when dyads combine with basic emotion. Eg.- contempt and joy combine to be smugness.
Emotion is actually a chain of events, with cognition at the beginning of the chain followed by the feeling state which then causes the behavioral reaction. Cognition can be influenced by events happening later in the chain through a feedback process.
The ability to express and interpret emotions plays an essential part of our daily lives. We express our emotions in a number of different ways including both verbal communication and through nonverbal communication. Social interactions and communications are regulated by subtle expressions of emotions - smiles, eye contact, nods, postural shifts and vocalisations. Body language such as a slouched posture or crossed arms can be used to send different emotional signals. One of the most important ways that we express emotion, however, is through facial expressions.
A new study released by Carnegie Mellon University represents the first time researchers have been able to map people’s emotional state based on their neural activity. It makes use of the fMRI or Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology. When a person lies in an fMRI machine, scientists can see their brain activity in real time.