Getting Emotional

Many psychologists have attempted to identify, name, and classify emotions. This is no easy task. Distinguishing one emotion from another, attempting to qualify them when emotions are experienced differently from one subject to another, makes emotions difficult to define and categorize.

Even so, some have attempted to list, chart, or otherwise graph them, in an attempt to give a more concrete structure to the broad and nuanced spectrum of emotions. Some well-known examples are: Ekman’s List of Basic Emotions (1972), Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (1980), and Parrots’ Classification of Emotions (2001). You can read more about them here.

In addition to the usual challenges we face in identifying complex emotions, Nearly Boswell identifies them a little differently than most– she experiences emotions as tastes and smells. This phenomenon is known as synesthesia, which derives from the Greek, meaning “to perceive together”. You can read more about synesthesia here.

Imagine you have Nearly’s ability to experience the emotions of others. Now imagine that you experience those emotions as tastes and smells. Choose six emotions and assign each one a corresponding taste and a smell. Be sure to take into account each emotion’s overall quality, as well as varying degrees of intensity. What tastes and smells did you choose and why? How might they change when blended with other emotions?

Send me your detailed descriptions and I’ll send you a Nearly Gone swag pack.

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