Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions is the first infographic that really got my attention. Isn’t it clever? Isn’t it illuminating? Yes and Yes.

I was looking at it again recently, and I realized that while the original wheel works in Venn format (everything does, really), there are a lot of missing ‘feelings.’

I had to play with this! His wheel already lists feelings according to intensity (stronger in the center, weaker as the flower blooms), so I was able to use his words (as seen in each circle) as the bricks and add my own words (as seen in the overlaps) as the mortar.

And so here is my version of Plutchik’s wheel: one ring for each level of emotional intensity. Just looking at how they stack up, it’s really interesting how the more powerful the feeling is, the more rare it is to see it expressed in today’s professionally composed and politically correct world.

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17 Responses to Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

  1. Chris M says:

    Cool. But you may want to fix “suprise” ;)

  2. Wesoteric says:

    I have little to say other than that I love this.

  3. wendy says:

    I don’t know… I see most of the list of “intense emotions” at work in a professional office. Just not the ones in the upper-right of your Venn diagrams. Plenty of subservience, horror, shame and domination.

  4. Dreab says:

    For basic emotions: D should be “ruthless efficiency”.

    Still, very well done!

  5. mg says:

    Thanks for doing this!
    This needs someone with design skills. Even so… there you go.

  6. John says:

    Thanks for this! I love Plutchik’s diagrams and cycle back to them from time to time when teasing out some personal emotional tangle.

  7. tina says:

    I disagree with your placement of “submission.” You don’t need to fear someone in order to submit to them or their decision/s; in some cases, a healthy does of respect will do it.

  8. Nancy says:

    Here is a suggestion that graphically incorporates your great thinking (as illustrated in the Venn diagrams above):
    1. Make skinnier “petals” so there is room to write even between the most intense inner sectors.
    2. Move Plutchik’s advanced emotions (eight outermost words) closer in so they are between the basic emotions in the middle ring.
    3. Add your overlap words between the “petals” in the intense and mild rings.
    4. Eliminate the last dotted circle from Plutchik’s model – nothing (at least nothing labelled) happens in the outer zones of those “petals.”

    Tah-dah! What do you think?

    • Nelson says:

      I have always wanted to fold the petals back together to create a floating top to show the difficulty of balancing the emotions, and to show how one may tumble into more intense emotions without paying attention to the beginnings of them.

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  12. David says:

    Where does embarrassment fit?

  13. Patrick says:

    I love this, and it’s spreading like mad on tumblr:

    – Do you mind if I have a go at creating a version?

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  15. Barry Kort says:

    For the past 30 years, my colleagues and I have researched the role of emotions in learning. Among all the emotions that we can categorize and classify, there are six emotion axes in particular that come into play when one is engaged in the learning process:

    1. Anxiety – Confidence

    2. Boredeom – Fascination

    3. Frustration – Euphoria

    4. Dispirited – Encouraged

    5. Terror – Enchantment

    6. Humiliation – Pride

    In particular, we find that Confusion and Perplexity are especially salient when one is one the verge of arriving at a long-sought Insight.

    For more details on our model relating emotions to learning, see this summary of our work:

    Cognition, Affect, and Learning

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