Pipe Down’s theme each month is based on an emotion. That emotion is chosen based on Plutchik’s Wheel
of Emotion. Here is a little bit about it all work;
The study of emotions is one of the most confused topics in psychology today. The reason behind this is that the language of emotions is so broad, with hundreds of different words to describe various emotional states. Plutchik’s wheel of emotions considers the numerous definitions of emotion and related theories, and proposes an all-encompassing theory of emotion to help better explain the complex topic of emotion. Plutchik believed that there are eight primary emotions. Plutchik’s eight primary emotions are Joy, Trust, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Anticipation, Anger, and Disgust. We have decided to base each issue of Pipe Down around one of these emotions. We will start with the 8 primary emotions and then move on to Plutchik’s theory that primary emotions combined create further secondary emotional states. According to Plutcjik, each primary emotion has a polar opposite, so that:
• Joy is the opposite of Sadness
• Fear is the opposite of Anger
• Anticipation is the opposite of Surprise
• Disgust is the opposite of Trust
As the first issue of Pipe Down was based around anger. In this issue, I’d like to have a look at how we move through fear as a negative emotional state as addicts so that we are only left with fear as it was intended – protection, not destruction. Robert Plutchik’s Psych Evolutionary Theory of Emotion suggests that emotion is not simply a feeling state but a complex chain of events beginning with a stimulus that evokes feelings, psychological changes, impulses leading to actions, and goal-orientated behaviour. Plutchik describes emotions as “basic adaptations needed by all organisms in the struggle for individual survival”. According to Plutchik, emotions are similar to DNA or organs– traits that are so important that they are a survival and evolutionary necessity Plutchik theorised that emotions serve at least eight distinct functions (adaptive behaviours): protection, destruction, reproduction, reunion, affiliation, rejection, exploration, and orientation. Plutchik proposed that these eight ‘basic’ functions are biologically primitive and have evolved to enhance the survival and reproductive fitness of humans and animals. For example, for the purpose of protection, fear energises and inspires the fight-or-flight response. Fear is a major topic for addicts. It can be thought that fear is what drives us to use and what paralyses us when we consider the possibility of life without drugs. In this issue, I’d like to try and look at fear being a positive emotion instead of just a negative one. Making the distinction between positive fear, and negative anxiety.