Emotion classification models

Emotions can be classified in different ways: Circumplex model, Vector model, Positive activation – negative activation (PANA) model, PAD emotional state model and more, yet we've selected 32 emotions of the Plutchik's wheel as the tool we have used to guide our creators - emotional caregivers and buyers. People move through mild emotions to stronger ones, and our creators can help match your needs to the right experience.

Circumplex Model of Emotion

Researchers were curious to understand how different emotions relate to one another. A model type was needed to display the incredible nature of relationships within a visual framework. Researchers were able to construct linear models which demonstrated a close relationship between a series of emotions. However, linear models were not effective enough to successfully show how a complete set of emotions are interlinked. Now circular model was used that was spilt into quadrants with axes of crossed continua. The main functions of circular models were:

  • It represents data in graphical form.
  • It helps in seeing the relationship between variables in a field.
  • Puts equal spaces between items to show accuracy.

The effectiveness of a Circumplex Model is unprecedented when visualizing different emotional states because they can be displayed by highlighting their relative relationships. The horizontal axis of this model is the continuum between easy and uneasy emotions according to Russell, such as emotions of joy and sadness. The vertical axis is the continuum between an active and dormant state.


Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

According to psychologist Robert Plutchik, in reality, there are 8 fundamental emotions, which are fear, trust, anticipation, joy, sadness, anger, and disgust. He created his wheel of emotions to demonstrate relationships among these basic human emotions. Although Plutchik mentioned 8 emotions in his theory, but his wheel of emotions can help to visualize a broad range of emotions varying in degrees. Each of his primary emotions has its opposite emotions like joy has its opposite in sadness, surprise in anticipation, and trust in disgust. Plutchik discovered that any emotion loses its intensity as you move away from the wheel's centre and its intensity increases when you move towards the centre of the wheel of emotions.

Plutchik argued that the emotions that humans experience are not different in experience from that of animals and all these emotions are a byproduct of evolution. The presence of emotions in animals is found even before the evolution of apes and these emotions also evolve themselves to survive in changing environments. A small number of basic emotions are present and can be located and all other non basic emotions emerge out of these basic emotions.


PAD Emotional State Model

Mehrabian and Russell presented pleasure, arousal, and dominance as emotional dimensions to throw light on people's inner feelings. They defined pleasure as a continuum that shifts the feeling from extreme unhappiness to extreme happiness and represented an individual's feeling of happiness by adjectives such as pleased-annoyed and satisfied-unsatisfied. Arousal was characterized by the state of feeling along a single dimension ranging from the state of inactivity to agitation and is defined by adjectives such as excited-calm and sleepy-active. Dominance is defined as exercising self-control and exhibiting restrictive behaviour. To highlight the level of dominance, Mehrabian and Russell used a continuum that range from sheer dominance to submissiveness and used adjectives such as authoritative, controlling, and independent.


The Positive and Negative Emotional State Model (PANAS)

It is one of the commonly used scales to measure the level of emotion. It has 20 items in total with 10 items to measure the level of positive emotions and 10 items to measure the level of negative emotions. Five rating points are allocated for each item with 5 being the highest. The PANAS was invented to measure state affect in different contexts such as in the present or the past. This scale is responsible for determining emotional turbulence in any given period.


Vector Model

According to the vector model, an implicit dimension of arousal and a binary choice of valence define direction. This leads to the emergence of two vectors starting at zero arousal and neutral valence and following a straight path but in opposite positive and negative valence directions.


There are many ways in which emotions and feelings can be classified. For our emotional experiences we use 32 emotions by Robert Plutchik's Wheel. Explore our Creator zone for more information on how our experiences are being created.