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In response to my last post on the eight factor model fitting Jaak Pankspep’s basic emotions model,@vasusrini asked in a tweet my opinions on relationships between the emotions and relationship of emotions to personality.

Image of Vasu from Twitter
Image of Vasu

@sandygautam I love the 8-emotion classification. I am wondering if there are relationship models, a)bet. emotions b) with Personality typesless than a minute ago via web

This post is the response to the second query. Even prior to this I had had a conversation with @brembs on friendfeed regarding whether flies have emotions and in the case of a inconclusive answer the second follow-up question as to whether they have a personality.

Discerning readers will immediately note that I foresee a plausible and meaningful connection between emotions and personality. Basically in a nutshell, I believe all state variables have a affective component and can be labeled as emotions; while all trait components have a enduring and temperamental component and can be labeled as the personality. Given this fact and given my emphasis on the evolutionarily driven eight basic adaptive problems as determining both the states and traits of an organism as it goes about the business of life, the short answer is that I definitely see a relationship and correspondence between 8 basic emotions and 8 factors/traits of personality.

The long answer is that the best correspondence I have found, with respect to eight factor models, to date for emotions is Jaak Panksepps eight basic emotions and the best correspondence I have found for personality is Robert Cloningers seven factored temperament and character traits of personality. Of course I have also elaborated the five factor model of personality to an eight factor model and will like to draw attention to that as well.

Before I proceed I would like to claim that Cloninger has missed one temperament trait and has confounded anger and seeking systems and traits under one rubric of novelty seeking. thus , I propose and predict that factor studies and more robust empirical work should in the end split Novelty seeking factor of Cloninger in two- thus leading to 5 temperament traits and 3 character traits.

Now lets do a rundown of the eights stages and adaptive problems and ‘state’ emotions useful for that situation and enduring personality ‘traits’ where individuals can differ in their habitual responses tendencies to the same give problem of adaptation .

  1. Physical/survival stage. task: Avoiding predators/Foe. emotions useful: FEAR/Anxiety; personality trait : neuroticism (big 8) / Harm Avoidance )(cloninger).
  2. Impulsive/willfulness stage. task: finding food/exploration.  emotions useful: SEEKING; personality trait: conscentiousness (big 8)/ Novelty Seeking -I (relating to impulsiveness) (cloninger)
  3. interpersonal/dominance-hierarchy stage. task: forming friends/alliances. emotions useful: aggression/RAGE. personality trait: extraversion (big 8) / Novelty Seeking II (relating to anger) (cloninger)
  4. social/emotional stage: task:   providing help to kids/children. emotion useful :PANIC/ separation distress (to bond mother-child). personality trait :  agreeableness (big 5) / Reward-dependence (cloninger)
  5. cognitive /self-formation stage: task: helping kins or like minded folks. emotion useful: LUST/sexuality (of adolescence just like self-formation in adolescence). Personality trait: Conformity/rebellion(big 8)/ Persistence (perfectionists) (cloninger)
  6. Intimacy stage: task: reading others minds/ selecting a mate. emotions useful: CARE/love. personality trait: Trust/suspiciousness (big 8) /Cooperativeness (cloninger)
  7. Generativity stage. task: communicating with others/seducing a mate. emotions useful: PLAY/joy. personality trait: Activity (big 8)/ Self-Directedness (cloninger)
  8. integrity stage: task: Securing mate/ coming to terms with death. emotions useful: SELF. Personality trait : masculine-feminine (big 8)/ Self-Transcendence (cloninger)

In all of the above , the emotions capitalized are with respect to Jaak Panksepp’s model. So that is the long answer. what do you think of this? Do read the earlier mouse trap pots too for context and let me know whether the 8 factor model excites you as much as it does me or @vasusrini?

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