Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions Explanation
Written by: Nyan Gog Wari
Human and Emotions
Humans are very complicated creations in the world, they were created as perfect mechanisms and still their complex nature has not been studied fully, scientists and researchers go on studying human psychology that is called the soul by some of the people. One of them Plutchik discovered main emotions called Plutchik’s eight primary emotions and described how to use them. Psychology alongside with emotions is managed by the human brain that is so unpredictable in its nature and varies according to human mood, acts and environmental impact and scientific view.
Going deeper and deeper in human emotions another rich world of subconscious opens up before the scientists since the day of human’s origination and further evolution up today. Very often emotions are depicted on our facial expressions or eyes, that is why eyes are called the mirrors of the soul. Many people manage to hide emotions, but regardless of hiding or showing it, all of them have feelings.
Ideas about emotions vary and lots of scientists give their definitions on it. There are a lot of theories about emotions and a lot of scientists who study it.
How did early humans communicate with each other?
Let’s go back to the earliest times of the mankind. Our ancestors at the teens of human evolution used emotions as the way of communication, accordingly, their emotions must have been larger in number, it is just a supposition. Emotions help us express our feeling within what is said, people subconsciously try to use emotions in various situations as an additional proof for their saying, maybe we should seek its roots in our ancestors whose way of communicating was mainly conveyed with emotions.
To prove and clearly express what role emotions play in our daily life, it would be enough to bring a modern way of communication so called: messengers and other kinds of chat apps as an example. All of them include emojis. Why? The answer is simple if emoji is not included into the text the reader might misunderstand what you say. Thus, we can prove that emotions manage our life, positive people are more often welcomed than those ones with negative emotions, it proves that if emotions are properly managed they can be of great use in communicating with other, in success and in everything we are striving to achieve.
What modern scientist think about emotions? Here are some definitions. Let’s consider the first Plutchik. People watch movies read books to get emotions, no matter negative or positive, they get emotions and show them accordingly. Some cry, some laugh or smile, these are all emotions. Even negative emotional content is interesting due to James Scott Bell’s theory what he calls “car wreck dynamic”. Not everyone can be an expert of emotions and provoke them in humans, regardless of the fact that we all have experienced them in our daily life. Very few people can put down and describe this or that emotion as masterfully as to provoke any kind of emotions is a viewer or a reader.
Classification of Emotions in Psychology
There is a vast number of emotions known hitherto today, one emotion can generate another and so on, they create a kind of chain. Some emotions might be in conflict with another. There is no method invented so far to organize emotions, and they are unique from this point of view and ideas, organized emotions make people dummies, that is what makes humans different and individuals. Also, it is hard to give a name to emotions because if one calls positive emotions joy, other calls it happiness. So, how can emotions be classified for their better understanding? The scientist and researcher Robert Plutchik, who dedicated a year to the studying of emotions seems he find the answer.
He named eight primary emotions that manage human’s psychology:
1. Joy vs Sadness
2. Trust vs Disgust
3. Fear vs Anger
4. Surprise vs Anticipation.
Note: the actual wheel totals exactly thirty-two emotions.
Robert Plutchik’s Emotion Wheel Proposes That
He visualized a list of emotions in the form of a wheel and it is often referred as the Plutchik’s flower. The flower is colorful that means color vary intensely according to emotional intensity. The primary eight emotions are located in the center of the wheel and around them are located those emotions that are generated from or are similar to them, e.g “ Rage” is the stronger form of “Anger” and “Annoyance” is weaker. But they all are connected with each other according to their emotional similarity. As the wheel or flower shows the top of and center of the flower point out emotional zero.
Plutchik’s such approach meets our needs as they provide: a semantically-consistent set of distinct emotions; an organizational structure, a set of names. His studies also provide level of intensity in emotions; the blending of primary emotions to form new ones; the concept of emotional “opposites” as mutual pairs, and non-emotional state.
How to Manage Emotions In A Positive Way?
Plutchik’s new approach will help humans to better and correctly manage their emotions, as it was mentioned above they have a great influence on our life. Because we experience emotions every day and it creates our psychological portrait of how environment impacts on us. Mainly lots of negative cases can be avoided, because it depends how we accept this or that case, what side of the case we look at. It is a common knowledge that everything but death has its negative and positive sides. Any event depends on its interpretation, how we interpret it, this leads to the main aim of emotion management, if emotions are effectively managed they can be used to make your desirable outcomes happen, they can be of great help.
How to Gain Emotional Control?
According to Anthony Robbins before analyzing emotion, it is a must to understand emotions and why emotions give us signals. Emotions direct you to do something to alleviate discomfort caused by negative emotions. Discomfort, fear, anger and similar emotions are of a negative character that provokes impatience, rage, apathy, but if you change your interpretation towards the case you will gain control of your emotional state. The emotion of discomfort mainly arises during the case when you are doing something wrong, not in its right way, so if you make your emotions help you and interpret the present situation correctly, it will make you decide to take a new approach or find something that does not provoke negative emotions in you.
Feeling Overwhelmed All The Time
Overwhelm is also a negative emotion that one should have, it has negative influence and if experienced very often it can lead to depression and stress. It is generated when you have too much to deal with or are unable to control events of your life, it this case humans become irritated and act accordingly. There is a key to solve this problem:
There is a key to solving this problem:
- If you break down big issues into smaller ones and try to control them separately and ignore unnecessary problems, don’t let them overwhelm you will be saved.
- All you have to do just reconsider your schedule and arrange it to your needs and demands, it can be easily overcome if you take a right approach as described above.
Disappointment is the emotions of dissatisfaction and you experience it when you are unable to meet the requirements and the basic information, to avoid it you have to first rethink your priorities over, and arrange them according to it, change the things you do not like and never get depended on others opinion, it is impossible to change the past and we should simply forget it, but we can fully take control of our present and future.
Loneliness is what most of the people suffer from in the world today. Most humans who spend all their time in front of a computer or phone screens and live a virtual life are facing loneliness. More outgoing, more communicating with people and seeing the real world is what helps it. Take more challenges to think less about your lonely life. Don’t look miserable straighten up yourself and go full ahead.
Very often it is not up to us to express the emotion we want, they come all so sudden and work against us than for us, in this case, an emotional state transformation and its good knowledge will help. Gradually the state gets fixed into your psychology and you will not need to think about it before expressing emotions.
To successfully go through the emotional state transformation you have to identify what is your emotion, it will help you to transfer it to the emotion that will help you move forward and cope with the existed situation. If I am upset I will analyze what makes me upset and will try to move forward.
It is really helpful if you get down and analyze your emotions well, does the emotion have any value for you? How can you make things better? What do you really want? And so on. Ask yourself these questions. You should regain control of emotions and you should be firmly confident in it. Very soon the confidence will work for your benefits, not failures.
In order to overcome hard times, it is very useful to make an emotional wall, no negative one can penetrate it. Just imagine some pleasant moments or places to give you strength and find a shelter for your thoughts to give you positive feeling instead of obeying negative ones.
Gaining psychological control over yourself will help you change your scope of vision for the better. All the above information is for you to give you positive directions and never let negative ones conquer you.
As it was said in the beginning, it is the matter of approach, what kind of approach you choose to take. Sometimes People with even fewer problems than others experience constant negative state of mind and are unhappy and depressed, while others with lots of problems, take a quite different approach, they call problems challenges and try to look at them in a positive way, imagine how good it feels when you overcome the problem, and it will gift you with healthier and stronger mind, it, with better point of view towards life, will help you get everything good from life and be a desirable friend for many people.
The subject of emotions speaks books there are lots of scientists who study and research it and have very good result in their works. But all come to the conclusion that negative and positive is just in our understanding, what we thing is negative might be positive for somebody. Outworld is so big and people have their different views about it. But let’s not get deeper into it now.
In the modern world when we are imposed with all pressure and negative impact form surroundings we began to study our emotions and to manage them, but in the nearest past in the 50ies and 60ies of the 20th century, emotions were ignored by the scientist. Most of them were concentrating on behaviorism. And never thought what caused behavior, sure, the secret lies in emotions.
Another scholar and scientist Paul Ekman is the one, who became interested in emotions since his early years. His researches are mainly done on facial impressions. As he said “There’s gold in those hills; I have to find a way to mine it”. And he began mining deeper in human psychology and found many interesting things in it.
He began to study emotions when it was ignored. In the 60ies of the 20th century he carried out his first multicultural studies. He travelled to Latin America and showed different people the pictures with different facial expressions and asked them to tell him what they would call the expressions depicted on the photos. People called smiling faces happiness, some of them called it joy, furrow-browed face gave them the feeling of anger, frustration and so on. So, people called one and the same emotion with different names. Not to mislead and confuse culture with emotions he decided to travel to the place where there was different attitude and less civilization, Papua New Guinea. People there, were not under the influence of civilization, and they would have quite a new approach to the subject. The development of cavillation made people similar to each other to a certain extent, same dominant taste, same dominant attitude about good and bad, sure, it could fail the experiment.
He showed the adult participants of his experiment the same photos and told them to choose the right one that matched the feeling of a man whose child just died. The result was surprising they chose the right emotions.
The rate of success was a bit lower when the matter came up to sadness, fear, and surprise. It was a bit hard to exactly identify these emotions as all of them were very near to each other on facial expressions.
Ekman’s studies include six main emotions called “ Basic Emotions”, as we observed, today opinion about it varies and we know Plutchik named eight primary emotions. But all agree on one that emotions are biologically innate and universal for all humans and they are depicted by facial expressions.
It should be noted that not all scientists think accordingly, the study of emotions has become active but it is very difficult to outline the debatable issue because there is no clear definition of emotion, what emotion is.
The word emotion came to the English language very late, before that they either were called
Passions or affections. The ancient Greeks and Romans had their own philosophy about emotions they confirmed that a reason should be used to fight feeling and thus avoid sufferings.
The Christian theologians Aquinas and Augustine thought that emotion was a bit more, they divided emotions and called good feeling affection and made them apart from negative feeling called as “Evil” and all they were united under the cover of emotions. Only later in the 10th century Scottish philosopher Thomas Brown gave emotions a theoretical category.
Humans encounter emotions in everyday life, they are given minor attention until somebody says what he/she feels, anger, sadness, rage, happiness or whatever. Even doing so humans have no idea what another human means by saying angry, or happy. It is the matter of understanding. For somebody anger is rage, for others it might be slight disappointment. So, we still came to the point when we all say that emotions are universal feelings and their understanding depends on how we interpret it. They are intangible, something that is beyond our minds, which is as individual as a person itself.
Lisa Feldman Barrett a University professor who began to work in the field emotions opposes Ekman’s idea about emotions as biologically basic that it is our mind that generates emotions and all our behaviors are conducted by the brain and neurons that generate our thinking and process information into our minds, So, he discussed emotions as the feelings based on biology . But at the same time we can not deny the achievements of the previously discussed scientists who gave many years to studying of emotions.
Such approach in Barrett’s work gave push to new understanding of emotions and gave it another level of scientific value. She wrote: “ and now presents a major obstacle to understanding what emotions are and how they work”.
According to Ekman universality of emotions was “strong and robust, statistically” people of different cultures gave names the emotions correctly with high percentage for some of them, and low percentage for others, it could have been the matter of cultural difference, some people might be frowning but very happy , it is in their culture and nature, should be researched in the past of those people.
Barrett thinks differently, she does not think that facial expressions are biologically basic, because we encounter false emotions every day , e.g. let’s take movies, there actors don’t have real emotions, it is the skill they were thought, but still , coming out from the above work, even taught skills are fixed in brain, and it orders to retrieve the information in the right time. Humans are biological machines and obey orders of brain, but still it is up to scientist to deside whether it is of biological character or something else.
The main thing is to manage emotions rightly and to use them for better life and better communications. See how even the slightest compliment works on people. It is the skill widely utilized by politicians, militaries, who are well skilled to take control of emotions, that is why many people who know it well uses it in a positive way, to get desirable results, and to give information exactly as it is meant, or make you believe it is meant that way.
It should be agreed that emotions are met nearly in every field, even in braising kids, when they are taught to be polite towards others, it means they are taught to give out positive emotions to get back a positive feedback.
History of Emotions
Emotions were widely used in the ancient world and emotions are even utilized today. A lot of articles and books teach us to control them and make them human-friendly. It is up to humans, which way to choose positive or negative, but nobody should complain later about the gotten results. Because everything is in our hands, we are the master of our mind, of our behavior or feelings as emotions are often called. Face and eyes reflect everything and humans choose how to portray feelings and which ones to give direction and energy.
There is always a chance to change everything for the better, to take a full control of yourself, then there will nobody to blame for your actions, and will be able to define your emotions correctly. Life goes on, we all strive for better things, for a better life, for better interactions, so, why be negative? Look at things from their reverse side and you will feel such relief. Be happy and let other around you be positive and happy too. Because sometimes what we think is negative and bad in our life tunes out to be of minor importance, and we often laugh at such memories. We realize how funny the things were that seemed bad to us. That’s why emotion right management will save your mind and thinking from bad influence. Stay positive and healthy and that is what humans need to keep positive thinking in the future too.