Primary and Secondary Emotions
Primary emotions (i.e. instinctive emotions, such as fear) associated with limbic system; the amygdala and anterior cingulate gyrus (“key players”). The primary emotions are basic, innate, and universal: anger, fear, sadness, happiness, disgust. The facial expression of some basic emotions is instinctive.
Fear is felt as a heightened heartbeat, increased “flinch” response, and increased muscle tension.
Anger, based on sensation, seems indistinguishable from fear.
Happiness, or joy, is often felt as an expansive or swelling feeling in the chest and the sensation of lightness or buoyancy, as if standing underwater.
Sadness is often experienced as a feeling of tightness in the throat and eyes, and relaxation in the arms and legs.
Shame can be felt as heat in the upper chest and face.
Desire can be accompanied by a dry throat, heavy breathing, and increased heart rate.
Disgust, curiosity/interest, surprise, acceptance might be also included into this group.
Secondary emotions are the feelings attached to objects, events, and situations through learning. They require additional input, based largely on memory, from the prefrontal and somatosensory cortices. The stimulus is analyzed in the thought process.
Meta-emotion refers to second-order emotions. They are the source of emotional intelligence. Meta-emotions can be short-lived or long-lived which can be a source of discouragement and psychological repression, or encouragement of specific emotions, having implications for personality traits, psychodynamics, emotional awareness, and emotional intelligence.
The psychological repression or encouragement of specific emotions might trigger emotional disorders.
Opposition is possible between emotion, meta-emotion, will, and reason.
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