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Old 10-06-2019, 05:08 PM
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Emotions in a human. Which is dominant?


How many emotions can a human experience.

Happiness, sadness, love, hate, melancholia, jealousy, ....how many more are there?

Is hate the dominant emotion in a human?
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:11 PM
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There's no possible way this has a factual answer. Moving to Great Debates.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:49 PM
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Is hate the dominant emotion in a human?
Nope, it's fear. It is necessary for survival.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:29 PM
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Nope, it's fear. It is necessary for survival.
Yes and fear of the future is called anxiety.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:14 PM
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Fear, and surprise.
Surprise and fear.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:33 PM
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Quote from a Tom Clancy book (I think): "People will go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear, than to gain what they desire."

I think that quote was from some character in the novel who interrogated or tortured people.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:57 PM
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Nope, it's fear. It is necessary for survival.
With shame in second place.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:25 PM
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Nope, it's fear. It is necessary for survival.
From an evolutionary standpoint, I'll put in a good word for love, as it plays an important role in encouraging us to mate. Without mating, we wouldnít reproduce, and so even if we lived in a predator-free, hazard-free, resource-abundant paradise a la the Garden of Eden, in the end we'd be nothing but a curiosity in the fossil record for whatever intelligent life comes along next to ponder over.

Now, you could argue that Iím equivocating between love and lust. You wouldnít be wrong, but itís enough to consider where exactly the line is between an emotion and a physiological urge. Plus, advancing such a hypothesis letís me slip in a hat-tip to Donnie Darko.

Fear and love.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:20 AM
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Happiness, sadness, love, hate, melancholia, jealousy, ....how many more are there?
A couple hundred thousand, I'd say.

Elaborated on in this thread / poll
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:34 AM
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I think contentedness is dominant. The others, being more intense and noticeable, are the ones we talk about, but unless you live in exceptional circumstances they're not typically constant states.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:18 AM
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Dominant as in powerful?

I'd have to say Fear and Love top the list. They both make you do incredibly brave and/or incredibly dumb things.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:02 PM
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Let us stipulate that emotions can be accurately subdivided into categories, and that the strength of an emotion can be measured in some unit that is comparable across categories, we can give it symbol n.

Then your question becomes "how many categories are there?" and, a plausible interpretation, "given an experience consisting of sub-experiences of at least two emotions from different categories, the strongest of which both have the same level measured in n, which category would dominate?"

The answer being that the stipulation is nonsense. Categorizing emotions is similar to defining the color spectrum as a mix of primary colors, the choice of colors is somewhat arbitrary, as is our gamut of named emotions.

And whereas we can measure the strength of light across color (albeit different measures would give us different results as to which color was "stronger") we cannot really do so across emotions. Strong hate beats weak love and vice versa and there's no way to determine "equal amounts of love and hate" in a way that isn't empirical and results in none of them being dominant, by definition.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:19 PM
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It's going to depend on the person and the situation.

I'd be really surprised if hate is dominant in most people or in most situations. Most of the time that's not an emotion that I feel at all.

And if fear were always dominant over love or curiosity, I'd never have gotten up on a horse, or driven across the country. People voluntarily do things that they're afraid of all the time.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:22 PM
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It's going to depend on the person and the situation.

I'd be really surprised if hate is dominant in most people or in most situations. Most of the time that's not an emotion that I feel at all.

And if fear were always dominant over love or curiosity, I'd never have gotten up on a horse, or driven across the country. People voluntarily do things that they're afraid of all the time.
Maybe hate is "dominant" in the sense that it isn't the most frequently occurring emotion, but when it rears its head, it can be the most intense. If you really hate or feel vengeful about something, you can get murderous. That emotion's intensity dwarfs that of happiness, sadness, or the other emotions.

Edit: Maybe I should substitute "anger" for hate, a slight difference.

Last edited by Velocity; 10-08-2019 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:56 PM
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Maybe hate is "dominant" in the sense that it isn't the most frequently occurring emotion, but when it rears its head, it can be the most intense. If you really hate or feel vengeful about something, you can get murderous. That emotion's intensity dwarfs that of happiness, sadness, or the other emotions.

Edit: Maybe I should substitute "anger" for hate, a slight difference.
I don't think that's a slight difference, I think it's a very large difference.

One complication inherent to this discussion is that common as the words for many emotions are, people may not be meaning the same things by them.

-- I was once, years ago, in a situation in which I more or less had to be frequently in the presence of someone I came to both dislike and despise (and those are not, for me, at all the same emotion.) I did feel that I hated him. I went so far as to fantasize about murdering him, though I knew perfectly well that I wasn't going to do it.

But I also felt happiness, sadness, desire of various sorts, satisfaction, even joy during that period of time. Hate wasn't dwarfing or overwhelming those other emotions. Most of the time it was just muttering along in the background.

Hate does seem to consume some people. I don't know how common that is as opposed to what it does in me -- though I will say that if hatred, or even anger, was always an all-consuming or even a dominating emotion, I think the human world would be a whole lot worse off than most of it is.
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