What’s Your Emotional State At The Moment : The Four Basic Emotions Of Human Expression

How do you feel at the moment, happy, sad, or angry, or maybe you’re indifferent and try to remove yourself from emotion. Whatever it is you feel at this moment in time, whether you choose to accept it or not, chances are you probably fit into one of these 6 categories:

1.) Happiness
2.) Sadness
3.) Fear
4.) Anger
5.) Surprise
6.) Disgust

These are widely regarded as the main types of emotion experienced by humans, but until recently it was believed that humans could express all of these 6 emotions via expressions on their face. In actual fact we can’t, we are only capable of exhibiting 4. The original belief was based on Dr Paul Ekman’s theory of the above 6 emotions, but this has been somewhat challenged by new research presented in the Current Biology journal asserting that there are in fact only 4 emotions. What these actual emotions are is unclear as there is difficulty differentiating between say fear and surprise, or anger and disgust, but the conclusion was based on the range of different muscles in the face (aka action units) involved in signalling different emotions and the overlap there seems to be between certain emotions.


Science Daily, (2014). Written all over your face: Humans express four basic emotions rather than six. Retrieved 4th February, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203113551.htm

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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