It’s not shocking to me that all mammals display the following basic instinctual emotions, we humans have simply taken it to another level. But then, I’ve been fascinated with evolution all my life, so have been learning about it all my life, while most other seem to have been totally ignoring it.
But understanding evolution is critical for getting a grasp of human basics, such as our own emotions. Because you’ll never understand them, without also appreciating their historic background and development, the foundation of thinking, as in a deep-time evolutionary appreciation.
WHAT IS A MIND?
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN - Dr. Mark Solms
WEEK 5: AGENCY
STEP 5.2: SEVEN BASIC SYSTEMS OF EMOTION
- The SEEKING System
The system that generates an exploratory engagement with the environment through forward movement and characterized by a persistent inquisitiveness (e.g. to forage for food or seek shelter)
Supports other emotion systems, with a role in both positive and negative emotions
- The RAGE System
Compels the animal to thrust their body towards the offending target and to use their extremities to e.g. bite or scratch it
A negative affect, however, when interacting with cognitive components (e.g. when victorious over an opponent) it can become positive
- The FEAR System
Results in a negative affective state that people and animals want to escape from
At lower arousal levels, it creates bodily tension and immobility which can then increase in intensity in order for the person or animal to get out of harm’s way
- The LUST System
Display courting behaviour culminating in copulation
When a mate is absent, the organism experiences a craving, the tension created by this can be experienced as positive or as a negative stressor
- The CARE System
Nurturing, particularly one’s young, can be rewarding in the sense of being an affective state that is positive and relaxed
Source of love
- The PANIC/GRIEF System
Results in the experience of psychological pain internally in the absence of obvious physical pain
Particularly in young mammals, the panic/grief system is exhibited in insistent crying and an urgency in reuniting with their caretakers
Plays a role in the facilitation of social bonding
Fluctuations in feelings associated with this system are a source of love
- The PLAY System
Participants usually assume alternating dominant and submissive roles
Enjoyable activity for participants, as long as the one that will end up the ‘loser’ still has a chance to win
Source of friendship
A summary of the seven basic systems of emotion based on:
Panksepp, J. & Biven, L. (2012). The archaeology of mind: Neuroevolutionary origins of human emotions. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Mark Solms 2015
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