Primary emotions and social relations: A first report

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Warren D. TenHouten


Affect-spectrum theory provides a model for predicting eight primary emotions, 28 secondary emotions (pairs of primaries) and up to 56 tertiary emotions (triples of primaries). Using a contenl-analytic methodology and a corpus of life-historical interviews of Euro-Australians and Australian-Ahorigines for a cross-cultural comparison. it was found that eight basic emotions could be effectively predicted from the positive and negative experiences of four kinds of social relations. Fifteen of 16 predictions were satisfied. and the relation between surprise and the negative experience of territoriality/market-based relations was predictive only after measuring this socio-relational variable differently in the two cultures.

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