Glowy, Gauzy Diagrams Are the Self-help Books of the Instagram Age

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A deceptively simple question: How are you feeling right now? It’s simple because you’re probably sentient and awake; deceptive because the web of human emotion is always undulating, twitching and warping in response to events—real, perceived, micro, and otherwise—in real time.   

In 1980, to help people answer that question, the psychologist Robert Plutchik published a paper about the eight core human emotions—joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust—that came with a diagram: the Plutchik Model, a rainbow pinwheel of feelings, flowering to illustrate variants of each emotion. If you can identify how you feel, Plutchik’s theory goes, you