Types of Emotions

Two types of Emotions

Researchers on emotions mostly agree on the existence of two types of emotions:

  1. Primary emotions
  2. Secondary emotions.

A primary human emotion types are the one triggered in response to an event, for example: Anger.

Secondary human emotions types are the group of emotions that follow that types of emotions. If we experience fear , the secondary emotions would be : feel threatened or feel anger , depending on the situation we are experiencing.

William James for example considers primary human emotions types as love, fear, grief and rage. On the other hand Robert Plutchik considers types of human emotions as fear, anger, disgust, sadness, surprise, acceptance and joy in this category..  He created the Plutchik’s wheel of emotions as a model to describe human emotions. The main idea of this model is that all people experience a basic set of eight primary emotions. Other emotions stem from primary emotions which combine together to make new emotions.

Below is a list of types of human emotions . I have included both positive and negative types of emotions. Here is the list of emotions:

List of negative Emotions

The negative emotions are the ones that causes you to be miserable and sad, feel insecurity and dislike yourself and others. They make you behave irrationally and see situations according to what you are negative feelings are. They keep you miserable and make you sick. Dr Cynthia Thaik a Harvard-trained board-certified cardiologist, says that for example, prolonged anger can affect your high blood pressure, poor circulation and impair your immune system. It can also produce heart attacks and strokes.



List of positive Emotions

Positive emotions are feelings that lack negativity. Barbara L. Fredrickson identifies in her book Positivity: Top-notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life , the top ten positive emotions as joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love. She also says that positive emotions transform us. If we increase positive emotions we can change who we are. For each of us in a moment the opposite of a negative emotions there is a positive emotion. There are several ways you can create positive emotions to live a better quality of life. Among them: smile, do something you love, meditate, practice relaxation techniques and do something good for others.


It is important to know how we feel because how we feel dictates our behaviours. If you want to learn more about emotions read the List of Emotions where you will not only discover what they mean but also related articles.