Eight primary emotion dimensions


By Plutchik

Figure 1.
Author’s three-dimensional circumplex model describes the relations among emotion concepts, which are analogous to the colors on a color wheel. The cone’s vertical dimension represents intensity, and the circle represents degrees of similarity among the emotions. The eight sectors are designed to indicate that there are eight primary emotion dimensions defined by the theory arranged as four pairs of opposites. In the exploded model the emotions in the blank spaces are the primary dyads—emotions that are mixtures of two of the primary emotions.


I have not read his theory. The chart looks useful, perhaps to assist people to put a name to a feeling. I’d like to see Anger as a different category of feeling. It is a feeling about a feeling. I wonder too if the beautiful symmetry here makes the whole thing look as if it has such a symmetry. I think of it all as more fluid, complex, subjective, mixed with sensation, habit, wounds and training.