Magazine article Psychology Today

A Map of Our Moods

Magazine article Psychology Today

A Map of Our Moods

Article excerpt

HOW MANY DIFFERENT emotions, really, can run through a person's mind? Some scientists have argued that there are six distinct types, give or take-anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, and happiness. But based on Americans' descriptions of their own experiences in a recent study, there may actually be many more.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley enlisted online participants to indicate their emotional responses to a stock of more than 2,000 video clips and GIFs featuring baby animals, an awkward high-five, a starry sky, graphic violence and nudity, and myriad other flavors of imagery plumbed from the depths of the internet.

Based on statistical analyses, the team concluded that an array of 27 separate categories of emotion best accounted for viewers' professed experiences-ranging from "empathic pain" (imagine watching a Jackass stunt) to "adoration" (common when viewing puppies) to straightforward "excitement. …

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