”Hatred is made up of desire and fear.” This phrase caught my eye in 1994. I started to think about the interconnectedness of emotions. Over time it took on the form of what appeared to be a logical presentation. My acquaintance thought it resembled a neural net, the type they use in artificial intelligence applications.
I collected a list of two thousand emotions according to the three principles of a self-organizing map. I then placed more similar emotions close to each other and opposite emotions far apart.
I heard that a 3000 year old Indian Kathakali system of emotions contained nine basic emotions. I noticed they corresponded to my own chart sketch.
This gave me the enthusiasm to start developing a broader chart of emotions. The words for emotions I had written down on pieces of paper sought their places for a good while. I asked my friends for suggestions for emotions that would fill the gaps. Finally the words fell into place and a chart comprising 121 emotions had taken shape.
Aided by the concept of the disappearance of the self, I realized that by uniting the extreme emotions this emotional landscape became spherical.
I suddenly realized that the SDG*Chart of emotions’ emotional scales and breathing rhythms seemed to be connected. Later it turned out that it has to do with the two-pieced structure of the autonomic nervous system and the concentrated position of positive emotions on the upper right quarter of the chart of emotions. Several studies in emotions seem to support the structure of the chart.
Seija Tuovila’s research findings (reported in her dissertation) about the most commonly used words for emotions among Finnish people corresponded to the four most central emotions on the SDG*Chart of emotions. They were gladness (joy), sadness (sorrow), affection (love) and hatred.
I finally managed to name the eight emotional scales of the chart. These emotional continuums I realized are considered a significant observation by professor emeritus Pauli Niemelä in his book “Systemaattinen ihmiskäsitys” (A Systematic conception of man).
The SDG*Chart of emotions can now be found in seven languages online and can be freely examined and downloaded for professional use also.
*SDG is a shorthand of the words “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God alone be all the glory), which is what Johann Sebastian Bach signed his sheet music with.
I´m looking for universities to make pilot studies on the SDG*Chart of emotions. Just now researchers of Tampere University of Technology are studying this model by comparing it with the some other emotional models. My contact address can be found on the original website. You can contact me also through the LinkedIn -profile or the Twitter account.
Thanks for reading this story,
a student of psychology
Open University of Jyvaskyla