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Emotion Project

Emotion Project for Fiction Writers:

not meant to be used for Academic/Psychological Research


This project has the simple goal of providing writers with descriptions, and knowledge about specific emotions to enhance the reader's experience of their writing. 

Emotions define, drive and design our motivations. Some prescribe their own causation effect. They happen. They move us. While the level of their effective manifestation can be controlled, there is no choice in their existence. Emotions are global in their scope, and while not unique to the human experience, they are the gatekeepers to our understanding, and in command of our attention. They are the root of language; the affect of our expression -- and yet we know very little about them. 

Emotions are expressive, and what they express is manifold; legion. Correlation with memory, and social interaction is acknowledged with reservations held regarding the mechanics of 'How'. Strong bindings are also realized with our physical senses. What we sense we discern as emotion first, well before the emotive is expressed or defined in language and rational thought. 

For the author of fictional storytelling they are the key to immersion, also called Narrative Traveling. 


Pages of Special Interest

Basic Emotions

  1. Fear - feeling afraid. Other concepts are terror (strong fear), shock, phobia
  2. Anger - feeling angry. A stronger word is rage.
  3. Sadness - feeling sad. Other words are sorrow, grief (a stronger feeling, for example when someone has died) or depression (feeling sad for a long time). Some people think depression is a different emotion. Some diagnose depression as a physical malady and not an emotion at all.
  4. Joy - feeling happy. Other words are happiness, gladness.
  5. Disgust - feeling something is wrong or dirty
  6. Trust - a positive emotion; admiration is stronger; acceptance is weaker
  7. Anticipation - in the sense of looking forward positively to something, which is going to happen. Expectation is more neutral. Dread is decidedly negative.
  8. Surprise - how one feels when something unexpected happens
  9. Guilt and Shame

Complex Emotions List

Affection 
Angst 
Anguish 
Annoyance 
Anxiety 
Apathy 
Arousal 
Awe 
Boredom 
Confidence 
Contempt 
Contentment 
Courage 
Curiosity 
Desire 
Despair 
Disappointment  
Distrust 
Dread 
Ecstasy 
Euphoria 
Excitement 
Fear
Frustration 
Gratitude 
Embarrassment
Envy 
Grief 
Guilt 
Happiness 
Hatred 
Hope 
Horror 
Hostility 
Hurt 
Hysteria 
Indifference 
Interest 
Jealousy 
Loathing 
Loneliness 
Love 
Lust 
Outrage 
Panic
Passion
Pity 
Pleasure 
Pride 
Rage 
Regret 
Relief 
Remorse 
Sadness 
Satisfaction 
Schadenfreude* 
Self-confidence 
Shame 
Shock 
Shyness 
Sorrow 
Suffering
Sympathy 
Wonder 
Worry 
Zeal 
Zest



Plutchik's psycho evolutionary theory of basic emotions

The 10 postulates:

  1. The concept of emotion is applicable to all evolutionary levels and applies to all animals including humans.
  2. Emotions have an evolutionary history and have evolved various forms of expression in different species.
  3. Emotions served an adaptive role in helping organisms deal with key survival issues posed by the environment.
  4. Despite different forms of expression of emotions in different species, there are certain common elements, or prototype patterns, that can be identified.
  5. There is a small number of basic, primary, or prototype emotions.
  6. All other emotions are mixed or derivative states; that is, they occur as combinations, mixtures, or compounds of the primary emotions.
  7. Primary emotions are hypothetical constructs or idealized states whose properties and characteristics can only be inferred from various kinds of evidence.
  8. Primary emotions can be conceptualized in terms of pairs of polar opposites.
  9. All emotions vary in their degree of similarity to one another.
  10. Each emotion can exist in varying degrees of intensity or levels of arousal.






Aristotle's List of Emotions

Anger: An impulse to revenge that shall be evident, and caused by an obvious,
unjustified slight with respect to the individual or his friends. Slights have three
species: contempt, spite, and insolence.

Mildness:  The settling down and quieting of anger.

Love: Wishing for a person those things which you consider to be good—wishing them
for his sake and not your own--and tending so far as you can to affect them.

Enmity (hatred): Whereas anger is excited by offenses that concern the individual, enmity may arise without regard to the individual as such. Anger is directed against the individual, hatred is directed against the class as well.

Fear:  A pain or disturbance arising from a mental image of impending evil of a painful or destructive sort.

Confidence: The opposite of fear.  Confidence is the hope (anticipation), accompanied by a mental image, of things conducive to safety as being near at hand, while causes of fear seem to be either non-existent or far away.

Shame: A pain or disturbance regarding that class of evils, in the present, past, or future, which we think will tend to our discredit.

Shamelessness: A certain contempt or indifference regarding the said evils.

Benevolence:  The emotion toward disinterested kindness in doing or returning good to another or to all others; the same term represents the kind action as an action; or the kind thing done considered as a result.

Pity:  A sense of pain at what we take to be an evil of a destructive or painful kind, which            befalls one who does not deserve it, which we think we ourselves or some one allied to us might likewise suffer, and when this possibility seems near at hand.

Indignation: A pain at the sight of undeserved good fortune.

Envy: A disturbing pain directed at the good fortune of an equal.  The pain is felt not because one desires something, but because the other persons have it.

Emulation: A pain at what we take to be the presence, in the case. of persons who are by             nature like us, of goods that are desirable and are possible for us to attain--a pain felt, not because the other persons have these goods, but because we do not have them as well.

Contempt: The antithesis of emulation (Persons who are in a position to emulate or to be emulated must tend to feel contempt for those who are subject to any evils [defects and disadvantages] that are opposite to the goods arousing emulation, and to feel it with respect to these evils).







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