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An Interactive Atlas of Emotions

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Originally posted on May 12, 2016.

With support from the Dalai Lama, the famed emotion researcher, Paul Ekman, has created an interactive Atlas of Emotions. Ekman’s survey of 248 emotion researchers identified five basic emotions that most agreed are shared by all humans:

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  • Anger (91 percent agreement): a reaction to interference.
  • Fear (90 percent agreement): our response to danger.
  • Disgust (86 percent agreement): a response to anything toxic.
  • Sadness (80 percent agreement): occasioned by loss.
  • Enjoyment (76 percent agreement): our experience of what feels good.

Ekman’s interactive maps allow visitors to explore the varied experiences of these emotions (sadness, for example, ranges from disappointment to anguish). And they offer specific examples of what triggers each emotion, and what effect it has. For those looking for a class lab activity, the site warrants a visit.

About the Author
David Myers has spent his entire teaching career at Hope College, Michigan, where he has been voted “outstanding professor” and has been selected by students to deliver the commencement address. His award-winning research and writings have appeared in over three dozen scientific periodicals and numerous publications for the general public. He also has authored five general audience books, including The Pursuit of Happiness and Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. David Myers has chaired his city's Human Relations Commission, helped found a thriving assistance center for families in poverty, and spoken to hundreds of college and community groups. Drawing on his experience, he also has written articles and a book (A Quiet World) about hearing loss, and he is advocating a transformation in American assistive listening technology (see www.hearingloop.org).