Although it is difficult to clearly delineate human emotions, it seems clear that there are more basic than other emotions. The distinction between basic emotions and the rest is that it exists in the basic emotions constancy between coping (mobilization for action they produce) and emotional form itself.
An example of this is the typical mobilization of the emotion of fear: escape or avoidance of the situation. Non-basic emotions do not have these constant ways of coping. Take for example the emotion of jealousy that both can lead to violence as depression or other different manifestations. Another feature that differentiates a basic emotion of a nonbasic is that the former have a concrete form of facial expression recognized in different cultures.
Basic emotions resemble primary colors, from which they leave combining other colors, this is the theory Plutchik.
>> Recommended article: The wheel of emotions, Robert Plutchik
Criteria for classifying emotions as basic.
Several authors have used other criteria to classify many emotions as basic as Fernández-Abascal the most important are the following:
- Coping: love, hatred, despair, desire, despair, hope, anger, fear, hate, sadness and courage. Author: Arnold (1960)
- Facial expressions: anger, joy, fear, disgust, surprise and sadness. Author: Ekman et al (1982)
- Processing: joy, anxiety, guilt, contempt, disgust, excitement, anger, fear, surprise and shame. Author: Izard (1991).
- Relationship instincts: awe, elation, anger, fear, disgust, submission and tenderness. Author: McDougall (1926).
- Inborn: pain and pleasure. Author: Mowner (1960).
- Biological adaptation: acceptance, joy, excitement, anger, fear, disgust, surprise and sadness. Author: Plutchik (1980).
- Download nervous: anxiety, contempt, interest, anger, joy, fear, disgust, surprise and shame. Author: Tomkins (1984).
- Attributional independence: guilt, despair, happiness, anger, surprise and sadness. Author: Weiner (1986).
I recommend that you go through emotional intelligence section of the web to learn more about the world of emotions.
>> Related article: Emotions for everyone: Inside Out