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Reading Basic Emotions

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Eyes for Lies points to a sweet video by Dr. David Matsumoto, “Characteristics of Basic Emotions”. In it, Dr. Matsumoto explains the differences between the seven “basic” or “universal” emotions and the rest.

Written by Michael DeBusk

January 15th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

2 Responses to 'Reading Basic Emotions'

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  1. Hey Michael,

    Interesting video. However I’m weary of believing that the only positive basic emotion we have is “happiness”.

    I found Anthony Robbins’s description of 10 Action Signals and 10 Gift States in “Awaken The Giant Within” much more precise and useful.

    What’s your take on this?



    18 Jan 10 at 01:06

  2. First, it’s been way too long since I read Robbins’ books, and I’ll probably benefit from going back through them. 🙂

    Second, Ekman, Matsumoto, and others who study facial expressions and the emotions they reflect are clear on what, for them, defines “basic”: we all have them, even if we’ve never seen them, and even if we’re chimpanzees. They aren’t denying the other emotions, but they’re seeing that the “basic” seven are apparently hard-wired.

    Third — and you don’t actually say this, so I may be wrong in thinking you actually think it — I’m no fan of the idea that “positive” emotions are “bad” and “negative” emotions are “good”, and that we need more of the former and less of the latter. What I believe is that we should educate ourselves as to which emotion is the appropriate response to a stimulus and that we should condition ourselves to respond with them appropriately.

    Michael DeBusk

    18 Jan 10 at 02:12

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