Man is a creature with an extremely complex mental organization. External manifestations may not correspond to the internal content at all. Therefore, in psychology, a huge section is devoted specifically to the classification of emotions and their varieties.

To date, there are already more than a hundred theories, each of which defines the spectrum of personal feelings in its own way. One of the most relevant and understandable models is the wheel of emotions, developed by psychologist Robert Plutchik. Let's look at this option in more detail.

What is the Wheel of Emotions


Initially, the model was represented as a circle filled with various data. Now the format has changed somewhat and has become like a flower with multi-colored zones, each of which corresponds to a specific emotion and its intensity.

Feeling is placed in such a way that on the other side of it is the complete opposite. We can say that in such a simple and clear way, the model demonstrates a psychological balance. When one side begins to prevail, disharmony arises, which can provoke serious problems in character.

In the Wheel of Emotions, not only content is important, but also design. Each "petal" is painted in a certain color. The brighter the experience, the more intense the background. The strongest emotions are located in the center of the model. They can be called pure or concentrated.

The second circle contains a basic set of feelings of medium intensity. They are more familiar to a person who is in a normal state without overexcitation. The last option lists the smoothest and lightest emotions that a peaceful or cool person shows.

Each circle should be analyzed separately. After all, the model also contains intermediate derivatives. These are complex feelings that are formed at the junctions of typical sensations.

Definition and types of emotions

Level 1 of Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

It reflects the strongest and most clearly limited reactions of a person to a particular event. These are simple and specific emotions that people will most often use in relation to themselves if asked to describe their current state. They are characterized by strong intensity and a distinct external manifestation. Feelings like this are almost impossible to hide.

  • Rapture (yellow).

The most positively colored emotion. It occurs when a person sees something very pleasant to his mind. It mainly accompanies the state of falling in love, when the partners are next to each other, developing into a feeling of ecstasy and reverence.

  • Admiration (light green).

This emotion often coexists with delight. It usually occurs when a person observes something that exceeds the generally accepted norms. Closely intertwined with the approval of other people for their extraordinary abilities. However, it easily turns into envy.

  • Horror (dark green).

Characteristic condition if there is a serious threat. The body receives a powerful signal of impending danger. Assumes the beginning of actions for self-preservation. Sometimes a feeling of absolute horror can lead a person into an emotional stupor.

  • Amazement (dark blue).

So you most often react to something completely new and unusual. Sometimes emotion borders on excitement and slight fear, as it is not always clear what to expect from the current situation. If security is confirmed, the feeling gets an exclusively positive color, and you will move into a state of inner peace.

  • Grief (blue).

A heavy and negative emotion associated with the loss of something very significant for a particular person. Moreover, the scale of what happened is completely different. It all depends on personal preferences. Can become a trigger for more active interaction with the environment.

  • Disgust (purple).

This feeling occurs when you see or hear something unpleasant. Usually associated with the desire to isolate oneself from potential danger. It can be directed both at inanimate objects and another person.

  • Anger (red).

The standard reaction of the body to the obstacle that has arisen in the form of an “enemy”. The main goal of this emotion is the complete elimination of the problem. Often has destructive consequences. Able to turn off fear and self-preservation.

  • Alertness (orange).

A negatively colored emotion associated with distrust of a particular person or situation as a whole. Quickly loses a negative charge, turning into curiosity and interest, subject to a complete sense of security.

And these are only the most vivid emotions that appear at the peak of psychological stress. Movement along the intensity scale can be either towards the center or vice versa. That is, anger can turn into annoyance mixed with disappointment, and a serene state is more likely to be replaced by delight.

List of basic emotions

According to the model under consideration, this is a calmer manifestation of the above-described reactions of the body to a stimulus. They often occur in everyday life, since the first round is the peak state of the body, which occurs solely under the influence of a strong impression. The list of basic emotions includes the following personal experiences:

  • Joy. A softer degree of delight. This is a sincere feeling associated with pleasant sensations.
  • Confidence. It comes from admiration. It has very fragile edges that are easy to break. In this case, there will be a transition to suspicion or anxiety.
  • Fear. Based on horror, but in a milder degree of manifestation. This is a typical reaction to frightening objects. Fear is not associated with phobias and sometimes arises from a sense of the unknown.
  • Astonishment. The second point in the direction of amazement. This emotion rarely goes unnoticed, as facial expressions on automation demonstrate a person's reaction.
  • Sadness. No longer grief, but still a strong negative emotion. Most often hidden behind indifference or feigned joy. It has a devastating effect, but not in relation to others, but to the person himself. This is especially pronounced when the movement occurs from the edges to the center of the model.
  • Displeasure. It grows out of disgust, but usually does not involve any physical action.
  • Anger. Less destructive emotion compared to anger. However, there is still a negative connotation. It is difficult to hide it, such emotion often manifests itself in the form of non-verbal gestures and certain facial expressions.
  • Expectation. It comes from alertness, if the situation is generally comfortable and there is no danger. Easily transforms both in the negative and in the positive direction.

Intermediate emotions

Robert Plutchik also provided for a variety of transitions from one pronounced basic feeling to another. Usually they occur already on the third circle, when emotions become softer:

  • the serenity that springs from joy borders on love;
  • acceptance that comes after justified trust can evoke feelings of resignation or resignation;
  • anxiety that comes after fear is the progenitor of inner trembling;
  • excitement, into which surprise with a positive color sooner or later turns, has common boundaries with disappointment;
  • sadness as an aftertaste of sadness can lead to remorse;
  • the boredom that comes from displeasure quite often flows into thinly concealed contempt;
  • Annoyance arising from anger almost always becomes the basis for passive aggression.

As you can see, the emotional palette is very diverse. The feelings of a single person cannot be called simple and obvious, since they almost always mix and change intensity in a matter of seconds. Understanding this makes parenting easier and helps you manage your emotions on your own.

Things to know (Q&A)

How do you use Plutchik's wheel of emotions?

Emotions on Plutchik's wheel may be combined as follows:

  1. Anticipation + Joy = Optimism (with its opposite being disapproval)
  2. Joy + Trust = Love (with its opposite being remorse)
  3. Trust + Fear = Submission (with its opposite being contempt)
  4. Fear + Surprise = Awe (with its opposite being aggression)

What is Plutchik's Psychoevolutionary theory of emotion?

Theory of emotion

Plutchik proposed a psychoevolutionary classification approach for general emotional responses . He considered there to be eight primary emotions—anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy.

What are the 8 basic emotions by psychologist Robert Plutchik?

Primary: The eight sectors are designed to indicate that there are eight primary emotion dimensions. They are anger, anticipation, joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness and disgust .

How do you use a feelings Chart?

A feelings chart is a great way to help them broaden that knowledge. To do this, take turns choosing a random feeling on the chart and ask them to share a time when they felt this way . This simple exercise will help them go beyond just the basic emotions and be able to better identify how they are feelin

How do you use an emotional wheel?

With a Feelings Wheel, the core emotions are at the center of the circle—which is the easiest place to start. After choosing the most accurate core emotion, you can use your finger to identify the more specific emotions that you connect with on the outer edges of the circle.

What is the Psychoevolutionary theory?

The branch of psychology in which aspects of brain structure, cognition, and behavior are interpreted as evolutionary adaptations to the physical or social environment .

What can you say about Plutchik's wheel of emotion?

Plutchik's wheel of emotion illustrates the relationships between his primary emotions and other related emotions . The eight basic emotions are joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgus

What is the common sense theory of emotion?

The simplest theory of emotions, and perhaps the theory most representative of common sense, is that emotions are simply a class of feelings , differentiated by their experienced quality from other sensory experiences like tasting chocolate or proprioceptions like sensing a pain in one's lower bac

What are the 8 basic emotions by psychologist Robert Plutchik and share an experience when you had these emotions?

The eight basic emotions are joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust . Plutchik also identified several primary dyads, secondary dyads, and tertiary dyad

What are the 8 fundamental emotions?

Robert Plutchik proposed eight primary emotions: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust and joy , and arranged them in a color whee

How many emotions are there in the emotion wheel proposed by Robert Plutchik?


Psychologist Robert Plutchik developed one of the most popular emotion wheels, known as the Plutchik wheel. He suggested that people experience eight core emotions, which he arranged in opposite pairs on the wheel: sadness and joy. anger and fea

What are the eight basic emotions according to Plutchik's model of emotions?

The 8 basic emotions that Plutchik devised were:

  • Anger.
  • Disgust.
  • Fear.
  • Sadness.
  • Anticipation.
  • Joy.
  • Surprise.
  • Trust.