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Psychoevolutionary Theory of Emotion (Plutchik)


Basic emotions theory; Linguistic approach; Primary and secondary emotions; Psychoevolutionary approach


A theory of emotion and emotional consequences for cognition, personality, and psychotherapy derived from an evolutionary perspective. Plutchik’s theory established the foundation for conceptualizing the domain of emotion (primary and secondary) in animals and humans. Emotional processes are placed in a complex chain of events, cognitions, feelings, and actions that have evolved in order to maintain behavioral homeostasis. This theory provides a structural model for interactions among emotions, distinguishing primary and secondary emotional experiences, as well as a mechanism for the formation of complex emotions. The model of eight primary emotions placed on a circle derives from semantic differential and similarity assessment methodologies through the use of emotional words. The circle model was found to represent not only emotional terms, but also personality...


  • Personality Trait
  • Emotional State
  • Basic Emotion
  • Semantic Differential
  • Personality Domain

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Kamil Imbir was supported by Polish funds for science.

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Correspondence to Kamil K. Imbir .

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Imbir, K.K. (2017). Psychoevolutionary Theory of Emotion (Plutchik). In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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