Scientists chart 27 distinct human emotions on this interactive map

27 human emotions

Though we by and large are all well-versed in human emotion, it’s a subjective experience. There are hundreds and even thousands of words related to emotional states. Also, finding the boundaries between one category and the next can be tricky. The nuances and interconnectedness of the human emotional landscape has proven difficult to represent visually.

A group of researchers have identified 27 distinct emotional states. Before this, we typically had only six basic states: psychologist Paul Ekman identified them as anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise.

The best part of the map is that it’s interactive. If you take your mouse and hover over any part of it, you’ll soon find a short video popping up. Although one can see some strict delineations between one emotion and the next, the visual map also blends categories when necessary, making it highly nuanced.

To create this map, the researchers collected 2,185 online videos. Each was a 5-10 second clip portraying a particular emotion.

Be prepared to waste a lot of time on the map and its videos. A delightful way to eat up life’s precious moments.

The 27 from this study are as follows: admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving, disgust, empathetic pain, entrancement, envy, excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire, sympathy, and triumph.


VIEW THE MAP: Click here

FULL SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

READ THE ARTICLE ABOUT IT: Big Think

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