Washington, Mar 2.- In previous thought, it was understood that there were six distinct human emotions, happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. But scientists have now found that the number is as many as 27.
The study, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, was led by Alan S. Cowen and Dacher Keltner PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
They found that some of the six basic emotions were not even in the new list, including anger, happiness and surprise.
The results were discovered after Cowen and Keltner gathered 2,185 short videos showing a wide variety of situations and events, including a man with a spider in his mouth, a cat giving a dog a massage and an awkward handshake.
The videos were chosen to provoke particular emotions from more than 800 participating viewers, who took part on the Amazon Mechanical Turk.
The volunteers were asked to report their emotional responses and experiences. Some rated how the videos made them feel across 34 categories of emotion and others ranked how they felt on a scale of one to nine across different binaries such as positive versus negative or excitement versus calmness.
Using all of the findings, they were able to reveal there are 27 truly distinct categories of human emotion that can represent a feeling.
The study did find however that multiple emotions could be elicited from one specific event rather than just one single feeling. And emotions can overlap.
An interactive map was created by the researchers to show the different videos and how each of the categories adds to the reaction. (Prensa Latina)