Ask Mark 4.5 - Origin of the seven basic emotions | Summary and Q&A

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October 7, 2016
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Ask Mark 4.5 - Origin of the seven basic emotions

TL;DR

Emotions can be classified into homeostatic effects, sensory effects, and basic instinctual emotions, and play is a serious business that serves important social functions.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How are emotions classified according to Hyuk Panksepp's taxonomy?

Hyuk Panksepp classifies emotions into homeostatic effects, sensory effects, and basic instinctual emotions. Homeostatic effects relate to bodily regulation, such as hunger and thirst, while sensory effects are responses to the outside world, such as surprise and disgust. Basic instinctual emotions are the psychologically interesting ones that lie between the other two categories.

Q: Is there a consensus on the number of basic emotions?

While there is agreement that basic emotions exist, there is no consensus on the exact number. According to Panksepp, there are seven basic emotions, but there are different opinions on whether to include emotions like disgust as a basic emotion.

Q: What is the significance of play in biological perspective?

Play serves important social functions, particularly in establishing social dominance hierarchies. It helps children navigate social dynamics, and in adulthood, play can be observed in competitive games and in the establishment of dominance in various domains.

Q: Why is understanding the natural kinds of emotions valuable?

Understanding the natural kinds of emotions is valuable because it provides insight into specific feeling states, behaviors, chemistries, and brain circuitry associated with each emotion. This knowledge contributes to scientific understanding and can lead to surprising discoveries.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Emotions can be classified into three categories: homeostatic effects (e.g., hunger, thirst), sensory effects (e.g., surprise, disgust), and basic instinctual emotions (e.g., fear, anger).

  • The classification of basic emotions is not universally agreed upon, but there is consensus that they exist and have specific brain circuitry and chemistry.

  • Play, although seemingly frivolous, serves important functions in establishing social dominance hierarchies and can be observed throughout different stages of life.

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