List of Human Emotions

The human emotions can be classified as primary, secondary and tertiary emotions. The primary emotions are:

  • fear
  • joy
  • love
  • sadness
  • surprise
  • anger

The secondary and tertiary emotions pertaining to these are mentioned below.

List of human emotions

1 : Fear
Fear is a response to some danger that is about to happen. It is a survival mechanism that is a reaction to some negative stimulus. It may be a mild caution or an extreme phobia. If the fear is trivial it is called “trifling fear” or if the danger seems formidable it is a “serious fear”.

One secondary emotion in this category is “nervousness”. The various tertiary emotions relating to this sub-category are:

  • anxiety
  • apprehension
  • distress
  • dread
  • tenseness
  • uneasiness
  • worry

Another secondary emotion in this category is “horror”. There are various tertiary emotions in this sub-category. The list of emotions is as follows:

  • alarm
  • fear
  • fright
  • horror
  • hysteria
  • mortification
  • panic
  • shock
  • terror

2 : Joy
Joy or happiness has shades of enjoyment, satisfaction and pleasure. There is a sense of well-being, inner peace, love, safety and contentment. There is an existence of both, positive thinking and positive activities.

The first secondary emotion is “cheerfulness”. This comprises of a myriad of tertiary emotions like:

  • amusement
  • ecstasy
  • gaiety
  • euphoria
  • bliss
  • elation
  • delight
  • happiness
  • jubilation

Zest is another secondary emotion encompassing different tertiary emotions like:

  • enthusiasm
  • excitement
  • exhilaration
  • thrill

The other emotions included in this category are contentment, relief, optimism, pride and enthrallment.

3 : Love
Love arises from a feeling of profound oneness. Love can be platonic, romantic, religious or familial. There are certain nuances to love regarding bonding, friendship, altruism and philanthropy. As per psychology, love is to lend self-esteem to another.

There are three secondary emotions – affection, longing and lust.

Affection includes the following tertiary emotions:

  • fondness
  • attraction
  • adoration
  • sentimentality
  • caring

Lust is related to different tertiary emotions like:

  • arousal
  • desire
  • passion
  • infatuation
  • obsession

4 : Sadness
Sadness is necessarily related to a feeling of loss and disadvantage. If this feeling drowns the individual it may lead to a state of depression. When a person can be observed to be quiet, less energetic and withdrawn to himself it may be inferred that sadness exists. Such an individual usually has a sloping body, stuck out lips and a downcast appearance of the head.

Directly related to sadness, the following tertiary emotions can be displayed:

  • depression
  • unhappiness
  • misery
  • melancholy
  • gloom
  • despair

The secondary emotion “suffering” includes agony, hurt and anguish. Another secondary emotion”disappointment” comprises of tertiary emotions like dismay and displeasure. “Shame” is a secondary emotion that can be linked to tertiary emotions like guilt, remorse and regret.

The secondary emotion “neglect” can be understood by the following tertiary emotions list.

  • insecurity
  • alienation
  • homesickness
  • embarrassment
  • humiliation

Feelings of sympathy and pity are also included in this category.

5 : Surprise
Surprise means the showing up of an unexpected result. When one experiences surprise, it is accompanied by raising of the eyebrows, horizontal lines on the forehead, open mouth, stretched skin below the eyebrows and wide open eyelids. Depending on the intensity, the mouth may not open, but only the jaw may drop. A momentary raise in the eyebrows is the most common evidence of surprise.

There are related tertiary emotions like:

  • astonishment
  • amazement

6 : Anger
Anger is evoked due to injustice, conflict, humiliation, negligence or betrayal. If the anger is active, the individual attacks the target, verbally or physically. If the anger is passive, the person silently sulks and feels tension and hostility. Often, when one empathizes with another, anger may be displayed. If the purpose of the source of pain is known, the magnitude of anger is altered.

One secondary emotion “rage” is further differentiated into tertiary emotions like:

  • fury
  • wrath
  • bitterness
  • loathing
  • resentment
  • hate
  • loathing

Frustration and exasperation are a similar type of tertiary emotions.

The secondary emotion “irritation” involves the tertiary emotions like:

  • agitation
  • aggravation
  • grouchiness

by Abhay Burande.

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