Three Dimensions of Emotion

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People exhibit a huge range of emotions and it can be a bewildering challenge to ascribe unique meaning to each emotional state that a person might find themselves in. A framework for analyzing emotional states can help us understand emotions by decomposing them into underlying dimensions.

Three key dimensions appear to be:

  1. Valence: positive vs. negative
  2. Activation: ready-to-act/aroused vs. relaxed
  3. Power: dominant vs. submissive

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