8 basic types of moods – Emotions psychology
Our emotions greatly influence our way of life. Man is a moody animal. Our mood has the power to mould things in its own way. A person’s mood can literally affect how he interact with others, his working capacity, his decision making power and his entire lifestyle. Despite of it’s importance in life, it cannot be denied that mood is not been studied properly and there’s a limited exposure of this subject. Knowing about different types of mood for can do a good favour if understanding human behaviour. As such, talking about basic emotions that are modulated by neuromodulators is necessary. There are 8 types of basic moods that we humans express as certain typical behaviors. Disorders that are related to your mood are the main reason behind medical problems. Considering this importance of mood in psychology, we have made this article discussing the 8 types of mood in psychology.
In 20th century, when Paul Ekman studied about the psychology related to mood, he classified mood in 6 basic types while Robert Plutchik classified mood in 8 types which he grouped in four pairs namely happiness-sadness, anger-fear, surprise-anticipation and trust-disgust. These pairs are opposite of each other and are based on the physiological reaction of these emotions marked in animals. Read along as we overview them in detail:-
Happiness is the basic emotion that every person wants to seek in life. A person do things to make himself/herself happy. Happiness is linked with feelings of excitement, gratification, satisfaction, joy and contentment. This primary mood makes a person smile, his body language feel relaxed and his way of speaking is pleasant and calm. While the goal of every person is to become happy in life, the things and ways a person feels so is different. Such things and methods are highly influenced by the culture and society a person belongs to.
A person may feel happy by earning a lot of money while an other person gets happiness by spending time with family and friends. A man may relate happiness with buying luxury things. If rightly said, happiness is a subjective matter and the way to be happy is different for every individual. Happiness in psychology is also related to boosting mental and physical health. It is not hidden that happiness is proved successful in coping with health issues like depression and stress while unhappiness is linked with health problems.
One another basic mood every person experience from time to time is sadness. Sadness is related to a dull state of mind that makes a person disinterested. Feelings of hopelessness, grief, dampened mood and disappointment are the consequence of sadness. And, the truth is that even after all the efforts people make to avoid it, sadness come and go time to time.
Every individual has his own way of expressing sadness by either crying, withdrawing from others, over thinking, quietness or lethargy. While sadness should be stopped quickly, it continues in some persons for a long time. The prime reason behind sadness may differ for each individual. When not controlled properly, sadness can result into mood disorders, stress and depression.
Anger is a strong emotion that forms a part of our body’s fight or flight response. When our body senses a threat or danger, it deals with such danger in two ways. One way is to run away from that situation. The other one is to stand and fight. Anger is characterized with emotions like humility, agitation and frustration. A person often expresses anger with frowning or glaring that comes with a strong body stance. The tone of voice is high. Anger stimulates behaviour like kicking and throwing objects.
Anger is not necessarily a negative mood. A little anger in a person makes him take better decisions and handle his relationship and work in a good way. However, excessive anger is always bad and can turn into violence. An uncontrollable anger makes a person takes regretful decisions and it also has a bad effect of health.
Fear is an other important primary mood that forms a part of human’s fight or flight response. While experiencing fear, a person’s fight or flight mode gets active which helps in survival. Fear is displayed with eyes open wide and chin pulled back. A person’s body while preparing itself to fight against that threat increases the blood circulation rate, breathing rate, the muscles become tensed and brain gets alerted.
People have different reasons behind their fear. The threat or thought inducing that fear is different for everyone. Sometimes, while seeing a particular danger, the fear wakes up. Fear can get stronger just by anticipating such thoughts. This is also a common character of anxiety. For example, creating a few about social interaction is a part of social anxiety. People even enjoy meeting their fears and do activities to provoke it like extreme sports.
Surprise is the other main type of mood that refers to the response a person makes to something unexpected. Such sudden moments can affect the mood of a person and influence his behavior. This mood can be positive or negative depending upon what kind of moment that is. A surprising mood is often shown with eyebrows raised, eyes wide open, mouth opened and loud screaming.
Surprise can be pleasant or unpleasant. A pleasant surprise can be like arriving at home and finding your family preparing a party for yourself. An unpleasant surprise may be something like a tree getting fallen suddenly near your house. This mood can also trigger fight or flight response. Surprise can boost adrenaline levels in your body to prepare your body for a situation.
Classified by Robert Plutchik in his 8 basic types of mood, anticipation is a feeling about considering an expected or longed event. Anticipation is the opposite of surprise as it makes a person think about an upcoming moment. A person feels enthusiastic about that good event and feels irritated when he has to wait. A person who anticipates often expresses it with enthusiasm and smile.
However, this hope about future makes a person so focused on the happening of such event that it can make him anxious and he gets sick. For example, the anticipation that an actor will perform good at the stage creates a stigma in his mind. Anticipation actually revolves around experiencing the future emotions whether sadness or happiness at present. Anticipation can be a powerful tool in bringing pleasure or pain.
Trust is a very positive emotions that can help us in making social connections. Trust is characterized by feelings of agreement, friendship, love, relaxation and companionship. A person feels this emotion when he thinks that the other person will not take advantage of his vulnerabilities and will behave in a manner he has predicted. A person when can’t predict the situation and the way a person behave, he will not be able to develop trust.
Trust is based on the principle of reciprocity. Trust involves an exchange with someone when you don’t have a complete knowledge about them and giving with an expectation that it will be paid back. Studies have found that positive emotions like happiness increase trust while negative emotions decrease it.
Disgust is the other primary mood type classified by Paul Ekman that was developed as a reaction against the food that may be harmful or deadly, according to the researches. Disgust is an uncalled emotion that is expressed normally by turning away from the object stimulating wrinkling the nose and even reactions like vomiting. It is however a way to avoid any infectious disease.
A disgusting mood is triggered due to many reasons like an unpleasant taste, smell and visual. Disgust is induced by visuals like poor hygiene, infection, blood and death. Food is however the main reason. When people taste a bad food item, disgust is a normal reaction.
Emotion is an important factor that describes the behavior of a person. As mood has the ability to affect our day to day lives, it is very important to know about them in detail. Researches by Paul Ekman and Robert Plutchik made it easy for us to understand the type of moods in psychology. Mood has ability to affect our decision making power. It’s not wrong to say that mood is also the prime factor behind the mental disorders. Mood disorders are becoming a matter of discussion and just a basic knowledge about our primary moods can help a lot in dealing with mood disorders. Moreover, it will be helpful in emotional awareness.