The definition of the word “emotion” itself doesn’t have scientific consensus at the moment. However, according to Michel Cabanac in “Behavioural Processes,” emotion is “any mental experience with high intensity and high hedonic content.”

Aristotle defined emotion as all the feelings that can affect the judgment and actions of men, which also affects pain and pleasure. Although different reactions cause most emotions, other emotions are generally felt universally by humans all around the world.

Using his Basic Emotions Wheel, Paul Ekman identified the six root emotions: three of these are pleasant, while the other three are unpleasant emotions. According to Ekman, what constitutes the pleasant emotion group is happy, excited, and tender. Sad, angry, and scared are emotions on the other side of the wheel.

Emotions vs Mood

Emotion is a slightly different concept compared to “mood.” When you say emotion, it refers to a response to a specific external trigger. These feelings are usually short-term and more of an “at the moment” thing. Besides, emotion is often triggered by a particular object, event, or situation. As such, your current emotion can be reflected externally (e.g., smiling when you’re happy, crying when you’re sad).

Meanwhile, a mood doesn’t have specific natures like an emotion. You can either be in a “good mood” or a “bad mood,” and you’re the only one who feels it. Moods are less intense compared to emotions, but they can last for longer. You can be in a bad mood for hours or days, but you cannot stay constantly angry for more than a few minutes for no apparent reason.

For elaboration, here are two different analogies that explain mood and emotion. One of your co-workers accidentally slipped his or her coffee on your table. Your anger or annoyance at the moment the spillage happened is the emotion that you feel at the given time. However, if your disposition gets ruined because of this coffee spillage incident throughout the morning, then your annoyance and anger is your current mood.

10 main characteristics of each emotion

1. Emotions are followed with a physiological change

When an emotion is felt, there will always be a follow up of physiological changes. The quickening of heartbeat, change of pitch in the voice, facial and body languages are some of the common reactions. Most physiological reactions are visible to other people around you.

2. The interpretation of emotions is subjective

Emotions are subjective and are tied to individual factors such as upbringing, experiences, and intellect. For example, people like riding roller coasters because it is fun and exhilarating. On the other hand, people who are afraid of heights or extreme activities, in general, would feel nervous and sick while aboard a roller coaster.

3. An emotion can trigger another emotion

There is a wide array of emotions under the basic ones presented in the emotion wheel. Triggering an emotion via another emotion is possible, merging both emotions at the same time. You can feel happy and excited, angry and scared, mad but worried, or furious and tense at the same time.

4. Emotions need to be triggered before appearing

Each human emotion is triggered by a specific stimulus, whether it’s good or bad. You can’t become angry, sad, or happy without any obvious reason. A stimulus can be anything: people, event, or an object. More specifically, emotions are triggered by a person’s thoughts about a particular external factor.

5. Emotions are always accompanied by pleasantness or unpleasantness

After an emotion was triggered, it would immediately be followed by a feeling of pleasantness or unpleasantness. It will then be followed by a physiological change based on the emotion invoked. When the external stimulus triggers pleasant emotions, a positive physiological change happens, such as smiling and being more relaxed. Vice versa, for unpleasant stimuli and negative emotions.

6. Emotions can trigger a person’s mood

Emotions can affect the mood of a person for a certain amount of time. A happy emotion can trigger a good mood that can last for hours or more. This is the same with bad emotions like anger, sadness, and fear.

7. People of all ages feel emotions

Whether you’re ten or 100 years old, emotions can affect you in the same way all it affects other people. Children tend to have stronger emotions that are easily expressed and can last longer than adults. Nevertheless, emotions affect everyone with no exception.

8. There are two primary sources of emotion: perception or ideas

Although stimuli in the environment usually trigger emotions, perception is not the only source of emotion. The stimuli can be from your ideas and memories as well (e.g., remembering an embarrassing moment of past and feeling embarrassed because of it once again).

9. Emotions and motivations come hand in hand

Motivation is defined as the drive that makes people act. There are times when an emotion serves as a motivation to drive a person to reach goals. For example, after a particularly embarrassing grade, a student would have the drive to study harder for the next exam.

10.  Emotions are not the same as “feelings.”

Feelings arise as a reaction to your emotions. Unlike emotions, which is a physiological thing, a feeling is a mental experience. For example, if you see a snake in your bed, and it got away, your physical reaction (emotion) would be to get scared and run out of the room because of the unexpected experience. Later on, you will feel worried and anxious because you know that the snake is still in your room.

What are the characteristics and functions of emotions?

Emotions prepare us for behavior. When triggered, emotions orchestrate systems such as perception, attention, inference, learning, memory, goal choice, motivational priorities, physiological reactions, motor behaviors, and behavioral decision making (Cosmides & Tooby, 2000; Tooby & Cosmides, 2008).

What are three characteristics of the range of emotions?

Key Elements of Emotions. In order to better understand what emotions are, let’s focus on their three key elements, known as the subjective experience, the physiological response, and the behavioral response.

What are the 4 components of emotions?

The wholesome picture of emotions includes a combination of cognition, bodily experience, limbic/pre-conscious experience, and even action. Let’s take a closer look at these four parts of emotion.

What are the 5 characteristics of emotional intelligence?

According to Daniel Goleman , an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:
  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Motivation.
  • Empathy.
  • Social skills.

What are types of emotions?

The emotions he identified were happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, and anger. He later expanded his list of basic emotions to include such things as pride, shame, embarrassment, and excitement.

What is the strongest emotion?

Fear is among the most powerful of all emotions. And since emotions are far more powerful than thoughts, fear can overcome even the strongest parts of our intelligence.

What are the 7 human emotions?

It is widely supported within the scientific community that there are seven basic emotions, each with its own unique and distinctive facial expression. These seven are: Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Anger, Contempt and Surprise.

What is the saddest emotion?

Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow. An individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic, and withdraw themselves from others.

What are emotions vs feelings?

What are feelings? While emotions are associated with bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain, feelings are the conscious experience of emotional reactions.

How can you recognize others emotions?

WASHINGTON — If you want to know how someone is feeling, it might be better to close your eyes and use your ears: People tend to read othersemotions more accurately when they listen and don’t look, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

What are the 8 core emotions?

What is the rarest emotion?

Interpreting Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions. Primary: The eight sectors are designed to indicate that there are eight primary emotions: anger, anticipation, joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness and disgust.

What emotion is higher than love?

Robert Plutchik, a leading pioneer in the psychology of emotion, has created a hierarchy of everything a human being can feel. One of the most powerful emotions anyone can feel is fear.

Is anger stronger than love?

Is there anything greater than love? In a simple answer, yes there is. Gratitude. To have gratitude for someone means to have no judgment of them, or you.

Why are emotions so powerful?

Anger is the strongest emotion. We can be deeply in love with someone, but when we get into an argument, all that love can fly out the window and we can become consumed in anger. When we’re overcome with anger, all thoughts of love, peace and well-being seem to vanish.

What are the 10 positive emotions?