Janocha A.1A-F, Shpakou A.*2 B-F, Sobieszczańska M.3 B-F, Kałka D.4 B,C,D,F, Klimatckaia L.5B-F, Woźniak W.1B-F, Pilecka-Radziszewska K.6B-F, Małyszczak K.7A-E
A- Conception and study design; B - Collection of data; C - Data analysis; D - Writing the paper;
E- Review article; F - Approval of the final version of the article; G - Other (please specify)
Emotions appeared very early in phylogenetic and ontogenetic development. The word emotion originates from the Latin verb movere. However, attempts to distinguish and name the concept represented by the phrase emotion reach back to the beginnings of human language. The compound and subjective nature of emotions stress an essential aspect of this phenomenon, which leads to changes in physiological, psychological, and behavioral issues. World literature dedicates significant attention to the mutual associations between the cognitive and adaptive processes and emotions. Emotions help to estimate the adaptational meaning of stimuli. Its cognitive aspect is, however, just as significant. The review of the literature presented herein is an attempt to classify and evaluate particular emotions, both positive and negative, and the influence they have on physical and mental
health. Paul Ekman, the author of one of the more
esteemed classification attempts, has distinguished six basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. These universal emotions are recognized based on emotional facial expressions, the automatic reactions that unfold within microseconds. Robert Plutchik, on the other hand, devised his „emotion wheel” upon which he organized eight basic emotions by grouping them in pairs comprising a combination of positive and negative emotions. He is also the author of one of the best framed emotional combination theories. In this respect, emotions play a crucial role as compound model reactions to everyday situations such as a long-lasting effort ensuring survival and individual development.
Keywords: Classification of emotions, adaptation, cognition.
Andrei Shpakou Department of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno Belarus Belarus, Grodno, 230023, 22 Ozheshko str. Tel.: +375297831034; e-mail email@example.com
Received: 26. 03.2018
Progress in Health Sciences
Vol. 8(1) 2018 pp 182-188
© Medical University of Białystok, Poland
Emotions appeared in phylogenetic and ontogenetic human development very early, indicating the particular role emotions play in human life. They accompany rational thought, behavior, and expression, and they also very significantly change the way of perceiving the world. Emotions identify the relationship between man and the environment [1,2]. Evolution has, therefore, given feelings a central role to play in the human psyche – emotions augment reason when we face tasks and challenges so significant that reason alone is unable to handle them .
Due to the incredibly complex nature of emotions, the study of emotions has reached an interdisciplinary level populated by authorities from diverse disciplines such as physiology, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology. Despite the considerable progress of past years, no universal, generally accepted definition of emotion has been formed, and each point of view stresses a different but critical aspect of this phenomenon. Papers in this field are usually either very general or very detailed, concerning a very narrow scope of knowledge. The below-presented literature review is an attempt to draw attention to the most significant issues elaborated in both types of papers and simultaneously an effort to organize the extensive knowledge on emotions.
The word emotion originates from the Latin movere, which means to affect or to move, and suggests a particular tendency toward action contained in every emotion .
Usually, emotions are considered essential elements of motivation that constitute a more or less fixed „readiness to action” .
In other words, emotions trigger a performance program for particular situations and cause the subject either to come closer to the object of the emotions or to become more distant .
A pioneer of scientific psychology, Wilhelm Wundt  understood the emotional process as „a separate type of psychological phenomena, so multiple that no unit definitions can be made.”
The American psychologist Titchener  has demonstrated the complexity of emotional phenomena by:
According to Izard , emotions have neurophysiological, neuromuscular, and phenomenological aspects.
Cannon  has promoted the then-innovative emotion model as processes that occur in the thalamic nuclei. He was the first to consider emotions as an expression of complex brain activity and indicated a behaviorally strict connection of emotional states with the functioning of the human organs.
Papez  assumed that emotional states are the result of the circuit factor impact (impulses from extra- and interceptors) and the effect of the psychological factor localized in the cerebral cortex. The connection between the cortex and the hypothalamus is the cingulate cortex, perceived by Papez as the center of experiencing emotions. Arnold was also a supporter of the cortex base of emotions .
She has described the neuronal systems engaged in regulating the emotional mechanisms. For years, the problem of referring feelings to anatomic brain structures seemed solved. However, the discoveries in the second half of the twentieth century have led many scientists to conclude that the most important structure of the limbic system, which plays a significant role in assigning affective meaning to sensory events, is the amygdala.
Paul MacLean has introduced the amygdala into the Papez’s circuit. He developed a theory in which the brain contains the limbic system and emotions are its creations .
Plutchik  perceives emotions in basic categories, a biological adaptation process typical to all living creatures.
Davidson  considered emotions a subjective mental state created as a result of a conscious or unconscious situation assessment that influences interests and targets.
Emotions are considered pleasant when a situation complies with expectations in the importance and target aspect and unpleasant when there is no such compliance. On the other hand, from a physiological point of view, the phenomena called emotions mainly serve to satisfy the instincts .
These examples of the definitions of emotions indicate a significant inconsistency in the taxonomy . Some authors describe it by referring to physiological changes; others, as subjective feelings in the situations that trigger I .
The difficulty in defining emotional processes results from the fact that emotions are usually integrally connected with other experiences and rarely occur individually .
Aim of the study
The below-presented paper is an attempt to classification of basic emotions on the basis of those features that to a large extent render their description easier, like expression, intensity, depth and so on.
However, it is important to note that basic emotions evolved for their adaptive and cognitive value in dealing with fundamental life tasks.
Classification of emotions
Many attempts at classifying emotions have been undertaken, but none have been universally accepted by all authorities. The difficulty in finding the proper definition results from the presence of a much more significant number of subtle shades of emotions in comparison to the number of words required to define it. A certain consistency, however, is present in those classification features that in no small extent render their description easier. Emotions differ in return. Therefore, they are either positive or negative to the entity who experiences them. In the case of positive emotions, the person suffering them seeks to maintain this positive state while in the fact of negative emotions, there’s a desire to stop it [7,12].
Paul Ekman  lists six basic emotions expressed by universal changes of mimics but different regarding content. These basic emotions are:
Ekman  has separated the culture-specific emotions expressed by body language from the universal emotional expressions such as face mimics. This body language includes emblems and illustrators. Symbols are movements that substitute for words such as „yes” signified by nodding the head and „no” by shaking the head. On the other hand, illustrators such as gesticulation, which emphasizes what we say and helps to explain it, are strictly connected to the contents and course of the speech.
Emotions may have the different intensity. Intense emotions selectively decrease perception and impair other cognitive processes such as logical thinking. Emotional intensity varies by the individual experiencing it. Different individuals may react differently to the same situation. Even the same person may experience different concentrations of the same emotion depending on many factors.
Bilikiewicz  has characterized emotions as sthenic and non-sthenic. Sthenic emotions (e.g., anger) increase the readiness to act, and non-sthenic emotions such as terror decrease the capability of effective action.
The differences in motivational forces are expressed in the depth of emotions. Deep emotions tend to exhibit a long-lasting action in a particular direction. The duration of maintaining the emotional level is also different and is referred to as the endurance .
Further, emotional features are the subject of emotions and their expression. Considering that an emotion is an expression of the opinion of someone or something, detecting the issue of the emotion is not difficult. Emotional expression is the external expression of the internal emotional state represented by the mimics, gestures, and physiological manifestations .
The final feature of emotions is a settlement, a situation present after emotions subside. In the case of significantly intense feelings, one may feel fatigue, sleepiness, and even oblivion .
According to evolutionary division, we can distinguish basic emotions associated with instincts that occur in both higher animals and humans and higher emotions typical in humans, which appeared as a result of the development of mental and social needs. The latter include moral, patriotic, esthetic, love, and feelings of friendship.
According to Mazurkiewicz , there are higher feelings – frontal and logical which are defined as „instinct stoppers” – that are associated with images representing reflections of the world or with abstract notions.
Currently, one of the most esteemed divisions of basic emotions is that by Robert Plutchik, which is based not only on facial expressions but also on the expressions of various body parts. It is similar to Ekman’s model, but additionally, it contains acceptance and anticipation .
By using the notion of basic emotions, Pluchik  has defined the emotions that are the lowest in the hierarchy and cannot be further divided into more elementary feelings. He defined basic emotions as temporary experiences resulting from external stimulation and which are accompanied by individual behavior models.
Pluchik is also the author of one of the best framed emotional combination theories. He created a wheel of emotions in 1980 which consisted of eight basic emotions and eight difficult emotions each composed of two basic ones, analogical to the wheel of colors, in which emotional mixing colors leads to the creation of new emotions (fig. 1). He has called the combination of two primary emotions diads. If we combine neighboring emotions within the wheel, we obtain first-order diads. The combination of feelings separated by another basic emotion results in a second-order diad, and so on. The more distant the two basic emotions are, the less probable is their combination [15,16]. Combining basic emotions into emotions of higher order is considered cognitive action and is probably human-specific. One emotion may easily change into another, except for those that are mutually contradictory. Contradictory emotions include fear and anger or sadness and happiness [15,16].