Emotional Intelligence: Core Emotions and Five Factor theory

In mid-June of 2014, the famed psychologist and emotions expert Paul Ekman sent a survey to 248 researchers active in his discipline.  He achieved a moderately high response rate of 60%.  The idea was to see what the fast-growing field actually agreed upon in interpreting the scientific evidence on the nature of emotion.  He recently published an article about the results: What Scientists Who Study Emotion Agree About

The survey showed that at least one notion is solid: Universal emotions exist. Eighty-eight percent of the scientists who responded agreed that, no matter who you are, or where you were raised, you are bound to share certain feelings with the rest of mankind.  They were asked which emotion labels (out of a list of 18) should be considered to have been empirically established.  The five emotions that scientists rated as the most universal were anger (91%), fear (90%), disgust (86%), sadness (80%), and happiness (76%).  Finally, there was high agreement about whether “specific moods may be related to specific emotions(s) such as anger to irritability” (88%), whether “specific personality traits are related in some way to specific emotions, such as fear to shyness” (82%), and whether specific emotional disorders are related in some way to specific emotions, such as disgust to anorexia (75%).

Goleman, who refers to Ekman in his seminal book, Emotional Intelligence, has listed a hierarchy of emotional intensities.  He defines an emotion as a feeling and its distinctive thoughts, psychological and biological states, and propensity to act such as when we become angry.  He then goes on to define a mood, which, while more muted, lasts longer than an emotion, and he compares the emotion anger with a grumpy mood.  Beyond moods he then defines temperament, as the readiness to evoke a given emotion or mood, such as someone with a choleric temperament.  Finally he notes there are the outright disorders of emotion which can lead to insanity, such as someone with paranoid schizophrenia.


Level of Emotional Intensity Population Penetration & Frequency
Emotion All of the people all of the time
Mood Most of the people some of the time
Temperament 30% of people most of the time
Disorder 1% of people all of the time


Temperament is the genetic basis of your personality and the most widely accepted model of personality by organisational psychologists is the five factor model (FFM), which have been defined as openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

My question is simple: How do the five basic emotions link up to the Five Factors?  I can see link between happiness and extraversion but that is about it.

Personally, and those who have read my blogs and books would know, I move in the opposite direction starting with mental disorders and then on to temperament, then mood, then finally to emotions.  It is easy to imagine for example how someone strong in one of the five factors (e.g.  conscientiousness) could get angry or be disgusted by someone very weak in same factor.


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