JOY: a source, object, or cause of happiness; a delight.
— Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

Emotion Types: there are hundreds of emotions, along with their blends, variations, mutations, and nuances. Indeed, there are many more subtleties of emotion than we have words for. (Goleman2, 289)

Emotions tend to come in opposing pairs: love-hate; lust-disgust; gratitude-resentment; self-confidence-embarrassment; trust-distrust; empathy-contempt; arousal-disdain; pride-humiliation; truthfulness-deceit; atonement-guilt; despair-elation. (McCornack, 117) The argument for there being a handful of core emotions hinges to some extent on the discovery by Paul Ekman, at the University of California at San Francisco. (Ekman found that) specific facial expressions for four (emotions) - fear, anger, sadness, and enjoyment - are recognized by people in cultures around the world, including preliterate peoples presumably untainted by exposure to cinema or television, suggesting their universality. (Goleman2, 290) Editor’s note - Ginger Campbell refers to Robert Burton quoting Antonio Damasio as saying that “deciding what constitutes an emotion is no easy task.” (CampbellVA, 116)


Primary Emotions: primary emotions (include those) that involve unique and consistent behavioral displays across cultures: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise. (McCornack, 121) Researchers continue to argue over precisely which emotions can be considered 'primary' or even if there are such primary emotions at all. Some theorists propose basic families, though not all agree on them. (Goleman2, 289) Plutchik identified eight primary emotions, including 'anticipation' and 'acceptance' in addition to those below. (Coon, 409)

Anger: a strong emotional feeling of displeasure aroused by being interfered with, injured or threatened. (MeSH) The negative primary emotion that occurs when you are blocked or interrupted from attaining an important goal by what you see as the improper action of an external agent. (McCornack, 135) (Example of a trigger is) being slighted or demeaned. (Coon, 421) Anger is the most dangerous emotion, because we may try to harm the target of our anger. It may be only angry words, but the motive is the same, to harm the target. (Ekman2, 114) Fury, outrage, resentment, wrath, exasperation, indignation, vexation, acrimony, animosity, annoyance, irritability, hostility, and, perhaps at the extreme, pathological hatred and violence. (Goleman2, 289)

Hate: an enduring attitude or sentiment toward persons or objects manifested by anger, aversion and desire for the misfortune of others. (MeSH)

Hostility: tendency to feel anger toward and to seek to inflict harm upon a person or group. (MeSH) A persistent state of simmering or barely suppressed anger and constant negative thinking. (McCornack, 136) The tendency to feel anger, annoyance, resentment, and contempt and to hold cynical and negative beliefs about human nature in general. Hostile people are also prone to believing that the disagreeable behavior of others is intentionally directed against them. (Hockenbury, 491)

Rage: fury; violent, intense anger. (MeSH) Irrationally violent or aggressive behavior caused especially by pent-up anger or frustration associated with a stressful environment or activity. (Oxford) Often what motivates us to control our anger and not let it grow into rage, is our commitment to continuing our relationship with the person toward whom we feel angry. (Ekman2, 116)

Disgust: repugnance or strong aversion; profound instinctive dissatisfaction. (Oxford) (Example of trigger is) being near something repulsive. (Coon, 421) Contempt, disdain, scorn, abhorrence, aversion, distaste, revulsion. (Goleman2, 289)

Fear: an emotional response to a potentially threatening event in our life. (Rose, Episode 4 Eric Kandel) "Anxiety," apprehension, nervousness, concern, consternation, misgiving, wariness, qualm, edginess, dread, fright, terror; as a psychopathology, "phobia," and "panic." (Goleman2, 289) The “amygdala” has a role in the fear response that does not require any conscious awareness or recognition of the stimulus. If the amygdala is destroyed, animals are totally fearless. The fear response really does require a functioning amygdala. (CampbellVA, 101) Studies of patients with brain damage to certain areas have shown that the amygdala is necessary for the expression of fear. (CampbellVA, 116)

Anxiety: apprehension, dread, or uneasiness similar to fear but based on an unclear threat. (Coon, 511) An unpleasant emotional state characterized by physical arousal and feelings of tension, apprehension, and worry. (Hockenbury, 512) Feelings of fear and apprehension which are accompanied by increased and prolonged physiological arousal. (Cardwell, 15) (For example), feeling threatened. (Coon, 421) Anxiety and ‘relaxation’ are diametrically opposed emotions; it is impossible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time. (Bamford, 11/1/10)

Joy: a source, object, or cause of happiness; a delight. (Oxford) Highly pleasant emotion characterized by outward manifestations of gratification. (MeSH) (Example of a trigger is) moving toward a desired goal. (Coon, 421) Enjoyment, happiness, relief, contentment, bliss, delight, amusement, pride, sensual pleasure, thrill, rapture, gratification, satisfaction, euphoria, whimsy, ecstasy, and at the far edge, "mania." (Goleman2, 289) Denotes more intensity than ‘enjoyment.’ (Ekman2, 190) Also referred to as ‘happiness.’

Sadness: feeling, expressing, or characterized by sorrow. (Oxford) Experiencing a loss. (Coon, 421) Many types of loss can trigger sadness: rejection by a friend or lover; a loss of "self-esteem" from failure to achieve a "goal" at work; the loss of admiration or praise from a superior; the loss of health; the loss of some body part or functions through accident or illness; and, for some, the loss of a treasured object. (Ekman2, 83) Sadness is one of the longer-lasting emotions. After a period of protesting agony, there is usually a period of resigned sadness, in which the person feels totally helpless. (Ekman2, 84) "Grief," sorrow, cheerlessness, gloom, melancholy, self-pity, loneliness, dejection, "despair," and, when pathological, severe "depression." (Goleman2, 289)

Grief: intense sadness that follows a substantial loss (such as the death of a loved one). (McCornack, 139) Refers to the whole process of grieving and mourning and is associated with a deep sense of loss and sadness. (MeSH) Also referred to as ‘bereavement.’

Surprise: the emotion aroused by something unexpected; mild astonishment or amazement. (Oxford) Shock, astonishment, amazement, wonder. (Goleman2, 289)

Positive Emotions: there are more than a dozen enjoyable emotions, each as different from the other as sadness, anger, fear, disgust and contempt are from one another. (Ekman2, 190)

Compassion: sympathy, fellow feeling, participation in another’s suffering. (Oxford) (Example of trigger is) being moved by someone’s suffering. (Coon, 421).

Gratitude: the quality or condition of being grateful or thankful; the appreciation of, and inclination to return, kindness. (Oxford) (Example of trigger is) being treated well by another. (Coon, 421) More complex and includes inputs from higher (brain) centers (than the primary emotions).  We don’t really observe that gratitude disappears with any particular known brain “lesion,” nor can gratitude be elicited by stimulating a certain part of the brain. (CampbellVA, 116)

Hope: expectation of something desired. (Oxford) Fearing the worst but yearning for better. (Coon, 421) A feeling of optimism that one will attain a desired outcome. (NCIt)

Passion: a "blended emotion" of joy and surprise coupled with other positive feelings like excitement, amazement, and sexual attraction. (McCornack, 137)

Pride: the quality of having a high, especially an excessively high, opinion of one’s own worth or importance. Pleasure or satisfaction derived from some action, possession, etc., that does one credit. (Oxford) (Example of a trigger is) becoming linked with a valued object or accomplishment. (Coon, 421)

Relief: often accompanied by a sigh, a deep inhalation and exhalation of breath, relief is the emotion felt when something that had strongly aroused our emotions subsides. (Ekman2, 193)

Trust:  faith or confidence in the loyalty, strength, veracity, etc., of a person or thing. (Oxford) Confidence in or reliance on a person or thing. (MeSH)

Negative Emotions: a set of distinctive emotions that we usually don't enjoy feeling. (Ekman2, 190) Nearly all emotion research has focused on the upsetting emotions. (Ekman2, 191)

Cumulative Annoyance: a buildup of annoyances that grows as the mental list of grievances we have against our partner grows. For example, Trevor’s anger about where Zach parks his car is a reaction to several other incidents when Zach was inconsiderate. (McCornack, 350)

Dejection: feeling low-spirited, downcast, depressed. (Oxford)

Despair: complete loss or absence of hope. (Oxford)

Despondency: dejection resulting from loss of heart or hope. (Oxford) A state of emotional depression which may result in a negative outlook on life. (NCIt)

Doubt: a feeling of uncertainty; an inclination to disbelieve or hesitate. (Oxford)

Embarrassment: a feeling of awkward confusion or self-consciousness. (Oxford) A feeling of shame, humiliation, and sadness that comes when we lose face. (McCornack, 54) An unpleasant emotional state experienced upon having an inadequacy, guilt, or socially unacceptable act or trait witnessed by or revealed to others. (NCIt)

Envy: resentful or discontented longing aroused by another person’s better fortune, situation, etc. (Oxford) Desiring something another has. (Coon, 421)

Guilt: subjective feelings of having committed an error, offense or sin; unpleasant feeling of self-criticism. These result from acts, impulses, or thoughts contrary to one's personal conscience. (MeSH) The fact or state of having (willfully) committed a crime or moral offense. (Oxford) (Example of trigger is) having broken a moral rule. (Coon, 421) 

Jealousy: an irrational reaction compounded of grief, loss of self-esteem, enmity against the rival and self criticism. (MeSH) A variant of anger that also melds sadness and fear. (Goleman2, 289) A protective reaction when a valued relationship seems threatened. For instance, Tyler is jealous when his girlfriend, Mary, flirts with Scott. (McCornack, 350)

Shame: an emotional attitude excited by realization of a shortcoming or impropriety. (MeSH) Humiliation or distress arising from the “consciousness” of something dishonorable or ridiculous in one’s own behavior or circumstances, or from a situation offensive to one’s own or another’s sense of propriety or decency. (Oxford) Having not lived up to one’s ideals. (Coon, 421) Guilt, embarrassment, chagrin, remorse, humiliation, regret, mortification, and contrition. (Goleman2, 289)