Study Says People Only Have Four Emotions. This Made Us Sad, Angry, Dumbfounded, and Then Happy!

In an article entitled “Human Emotions Are Not as Complex as We Thought,” Time “reports” that a study in the journal of Current Biology “says” that humans “may only have four biologically based emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.”

“That makes us sad,” we thought, until we read the story.

How was the study done? Participants were shown a bunch of photographs of people and asked something like this: “Does this person look happy, sad, afraid, surprised, angry, or disgusted?”

And apparently initial reactions were that “afraid” and “surprised” people look the same, and “angry” and “disgusted” people look the same.

And therefore there are only four emotions in the world. Got that?

3 Questions That Arise From This Story

1. What’s up with the media reporting “studies” that make no sense? Recently, we wrote about a widely reported Princeton study that concluded the fact that fewer people are searching for the term “Facebook” on Google means that Facebook will lose most of its users in a few years. We think the headline for such articles should be “Sensationalist Headline Justified By Study From Somewhere Important-Sounding Will Hopefully Get Our Site More Page Views!”

2. When are they going to use our study to determine whether four emotions exist, based on photos on cards selected by us? Specifically, we want to know whether the people on the cards look Professor Plummish, Miss Scarlettish, Colonel Mustardy, or Mrs. Peacocky. When the study is complete, we will be able to say that there are only four emotions, and also figure out who did it in the game of Clue, since we hold the Mr. Green card, leaving only Mrs. White as the possible culprit in the envelope.

3. If this is from the journal of Current Biology, what is in the journal of Outdated Biology? We’re going to guess whatever biology book Sarah Palin recommends, as soon as she can think of a book title. And before you get mad at us, if we are talking about outdated biology, we are going to have to use an outdated joke.

Not The Worst News: A Humor Site Asking The Questions The Real Media May Have Missed, But Since Social Media Doesn’t Miss Anything, Share This On Facebook or Twitter!

Categories: Humor, Psychology, science

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Obviously, they forgot to include shoppers coma–the zombie like nature of the person staring at the contents of a superstore aisle while simultaneously blocking it with his cart. 😉


    • We’ve noticed this very real phenomena at all superstores, except Costco, where this never seems to happen since the emotion there seems to be a panicky “I-don’t-have-time-to-figure-out-if-this-is-a-good-deal-for-600-sandwich-bags-so-I’ll-just-grab-them-and-keep-moving-before-an-earthquake-hits-this-place-and-a-crate-of-organic-peanut-butter-falls-off-the-top-shelf-on-me.”

      But your experience may vary, especially if your local Costco is not full of peanut allergy sufferers living on a fault line.


  2. It’s a good thing it didn’t make you frustrated.


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