Components And Classifications Of Emotions

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Components and classifications of emotions

Concepts and components of emotion 

It is known by definition of emotion to the set of organic responses that a person feels when he reacts to some external stimuli that facilitates him to adapt to a circumstance in relation to an individual, place, object, among others. These are characterized by being a disturbance of mood for a short period but, with greater impetus than a feeling. On the other hand, feelings are the results of emotions, therefore they are longer and can be expressed. As confirmed in different studies on what these organic responses are, it is revealed that they have a very important role in an individual’s health systems. (Sánchez, 2019).

Damasio (2003), establishes that: emotions provide a natural environment so that the brain and mind evaluate the outer environment that surrounds the body and to respond accordingly and adaptively: the emotions apparatus evaluates naturally,And the conscious mind apparatus coevaluates rationally (P.57).

It is necessary to ratify, therefore, that emotions and feelings are not equivalent terms. While the former occur on the body’s stage (increased blood voltage and heart rate; rise in the pain threshold, dilation of capillary vessels, etc.) The latter manifest themselves mostly in the mind and would be, precisely, who would have founded it, through the conditioning of fundamental intellectual processes such as attention, memory and decision making. If emotions are changes in the state of the body as reactions to changes in the environment, natural or social, feelings would be the awareness of the experience of those changes. Would translate the state of biological life to the language of the mind and intellect. The passage of emotion to feeling is automatic and hence its frequent (although wrong) use as synonyms. (Rodríguez, Angulo, & Rocha, 2015).

The concept of emotion for Bisquerra (2000) can be defined as: a complex state of the organism characterized by an excitement or disturbance that can be strong. They are emotional reactions, more or less spontaneous, in the face of significant events. Implies an evaluation of the situation to arrange for action. The duration of an emotion can be a few seconds to several hours (P.twenty).

Beans & mesquita, describe feeling as the subjective or cognitive component of emotions, that is, the subjective experience of emotions. In short, the label we put to emotion. Both are interrelated concepts, emotion encompasses feeling itself. (Rosas, 2009).

Emotions are not limited to what we feel, but cause a chain reaction in our body and our behavior. The nature of emotions is changing, the same emotion does not remain for a long period of time;If this happened, we would speak rather of a feeling, such as love, before an emotion.

Other authors point out that “we can be angry and moments later to laugh at a joke that we have made to us. In fact, the morphology of the word already informs us of the changing nature of its meaning: motion, or what is the same, movement ”(López, 2019).

Bisquerra (2003) points out in one of his articles that there are three basic components in an emotion, which we describe:

  1. Neurophysiological: it manifests itself in responses such as tachycardia, sweating, hypertension, muscle tone, blush, dry mouth, hormonal secretions, breathing. All of them are involuntary responses, that the subject cannot control, however they can be prevented through appropriate techniques such as relaxation.
  2. Behavioral: set of external behaviors such as;Facial expressions, body movements, approach behavior, avoidance, verbal behavior (singing of voice, intensity, sounds, etc.).
  3. Cognitive: This is what is sometimes called feeling. makes us qualify an emotional state and give it a name. Emotions labeling is limited by language mastery. Since introspection is sometimes the only method to get to the knowledge of others’ emotions, language limitations impose serious restrictions on this knowledge. But at the same time it makes awareness of their own emotions. These deficits cause the feeling of "I don’t know what happens to me".


Belli and Íñiguez (2008) In their scientific study they add that:

In general, it is usually considered that emotions correspond to natural body experiences that are then expressed through language, and that language, in turn, is usually described as irrational and subjective. That is, we first feel in the body what later comes out of our mouths in the form of a speech that in a way opposes reason. Of emotions it is also said that they are created in the unconscious and not in the will, which are more spontaneous than artificial;more "felt" than "thought" (p 140).

César Piqueras in his personal blog, establishes that we can start from four primary emotions: fear, anger, sadness and joy. From this categorization, we could increase the detail talking about more emotions that are contained within each group. For example, within rabies hate could be, within sadness, depression, within joy satisfaction or also ecstasy. That is, also in emotions, we find shades, different colors, tones, volumes. Each emotion is the expression of something, and it is expressed uniquely. (Piqueras, 2015).

Evolutionary psychology has assumed the study of six emotional expressions that are considered universal, that is, they are observed in most cultures in the world. Surprise, sadness, fear, disgust, happiness/joy, anger. (Zerpa, 2009, P.114).

Vanina Celeste Lopérfido in his article "The basic emotions of Paul Ekman", classifies basic emotions in six:

  1. Anger: feeling that emerges when the person is subjected to situations that produce frustration or that are aversive. In a generic way, it is raised as a vigorizing process that urges action, interrupting the cognitive processes that are in progress, focusing the attention and expression of negative affections in the agent that instigates it, and acting as a defense in situations that compromise thephysical integrity or self-image and the esteem itself.
  2. Disgust: sensation that refers first to something that disgusts the sense of taste, something perceived at that time or imagined with liveliness, and secondly to something that produces a similar sensation in the sense of smell, of touch, or evenof the view. In the most general sense the term of disgust defines a marked aversion produced by something strongly unpleasant or disgusting. It is a complex emotion, which implies a rejection response.
  3. Fear: it is the most studied emotion in animals and in man. It has an obvious survival value. Fear evolved to produce adaptive responses, behavioral solutions to the problem of survival, how to detect a problem and how to respond to it. It is a negative or aversive emotional state, with a very high activation that encourages the avoidance and escape of situations that threaten the survival or well -being of the organism.
  4. Joy: This emotion arises when the person evaluates the object or event as favorable to the achievement of their particular goals, or when the person experiences an attenuation in their statement, it achieves some desired goal or objective.
  5. Sadness: negative feeling characterized by decay in the usual mood of the person, which is accompanied by a reduction in their level of cognitive and behavioral activity, and whose subjective experience ranges between the mild grip and the penalty.
  6. Surprise: It occurs for the unexpected or unknown. Reaction caused by something unforeseen, novel or strange. (Lopérfido, 2019).


Fernández-Bascal, Martín and Domínguez (as cited in Vivas, Gallego and González, 2007) affirmed that through other contributions made by some more authors, some emotions are classified as:

  1. Primary or basic emotions: in these, we encompass the previously described (anger, disgust, fear, sadness, joy and surprise). They are the ones we experience in response to a stimulus. All constitute adaptation processes and exist in all human beings.
  2. Secondary emotions: emanate from primary.
  3. Negative emotions: unpleasant feelings imply, assessment of the situation as harmful and the mobilization of many resources for coping
  4. Positive emotions: those that involve pleasant feelings, assessing the situation as beneficial, have a very short temporary duration and mobilize few resources for coping.
  5. Neutral emotions: they are those that do not intrinsically produce reactions or pleasant or unpleasant, that is, they cannot be considered as positive or negative, and they are intended to facilitate the appearance of subsequent emotional states.
  6. Static emotions: They occur thanks to different artistic manifestations, such as: music or painting.
  7. Social emotions: do not refer to culturally learned emotions, but it is necessary that there be another person present or otherwise they cannot emerge.
  8. Instrumental emotions: are those that have as its purpose or objective the manipulation or the purpose of achieving something. They are complicated to recognize because they may seem natural. However, they are forced emotions and hide an intention. (p.25).



  1. Sánchez, a. (Last edition: November 22, 2019). Definition of emotion. Recovered from https: // conceptodefinition.of emotion/.
  2. Damasio, a. (2003). Of appetites and emotions. A. Damasio, in search of Spinoza: Neurobiology of emotion and feelings (pp. 56-59). Barcelona, Spain: Criticism. Recovered from http: // 20%search%20 de%20spinoza.PDF.
  3. Somoza-Rodríguez, m., Mahamud-angle, k. And Pimenta-Rocha, H. Emotions and feelings in political socialization processes: a look from the history of education. History and memory of education, 2 (2015), 7-44. DOI: 10.5944/HME.two.2015.15541
  4. Bisquerra-alzina, r. (2000). The concept of emotion: psychopedagogy of emotions (pp. 20-23). Madrid, Spain: Editorial Synthesis. Recovered from http: // emocions%20-%20fael%20bisquerra%20alzina-1.PDF
  5. Rosas, or. (2010). The disposition structure of feelings. National University of Colombia, 60 (145), 5-31. Recovered from https: // I.Edu.CO/INDEX.PHP/IDVAL/ARTICLE/VIEW/36686/38636
  6. López de Luis, C. (2019). The 3 components of emotions. The mind is wonderful. Recovered from https: //
  7. Bisquerra-alzina, r. (2003). Emotional education and basic competencies for life. Research group in psychopedagogical guidance, 21 (1), 7-43. Recovered from https: //
  8. Belli, s., and Íñiguez-Rueda, l. (2008). The psychosocial study of emotions: a review and discussion of active research. Autonomous University of Barcelona, 39 (2), 139-151. Retrieved from File: /// C:/Users/User/Downloads/Dialnet-OestudoSicosocialdas Empoes-5161611%20 (1).PDF
  9. Piqueras, c. (February 10, 2015). What are basic emotions for [blog entry]. César piqueras. Recovered from https: //
  10. Zerpa-Enrique, c. (2009). Emotional systems and evolutionary tradition in psychology. Summa Psychological UST-Dialnet, 6 (1), 113-123. Recovered from https: // = 3020386
  11. Lopérfido-Celeste, Vanina. (December 23, 2019). Paul Ekman’s basic emotions. Psychocode. Recovered from https: //
  12. Alive, m., Gallego, d., Gónzalez, b. (2007). The different types of emotions. In m.Alive, d. Gallego and b. González (eds), educate emotions (pp. 23-31). Mérida, Venzuela: Editorial Productions C.A. Recovered from http: //

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