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The essence of continuous models of emotions is that they explain and predict the transformation of emotional states. Can we feel joy after a great fright? Or how to go from anger to sadness? To what extent should one agree with the famous statement “from love to hate – one step”?

The first fundamental model of the dynamics of emotional states was proposed by V. Wundt in 1894.

He assumed that any emotional state can be represented as a point in a three-dimensional space, the coordinate axes of which are formed by pairs of excitation – relaxation; satisfaction – dissatisfaction; voltage – discharge.

According to V. Wundt, “all simple feelings form one coherent variety since there is not a single feeling, starting from which it would not be possible to reach any other feeling through a series of intermediate stages and a streak of indifference.”

Wundt’s hypothesis about the dynamics of emotional states as a transition to the opposite within the framework of one dimension (tensions to relief, satisfaction to dissatisfaction, excitement to relaxation) recently received its development in the model of opponent emotional processes by R. Solomon

The author tried to explain such a well-known fact: a pleasant emotional state is often followed by a kind of “emotional payback” in the form of devastation and depression, and an unpleasant experience, on the contrary, is followed by an elevated mood.

According to this concept, every emotion within a few moments after its occurrence awakens the opposite emotion. The action of the opposite emotion leads to the extinction of the original emotion and the return of the body to a state of equilibrium. Moreover, the more intense the original emotion, the more pronounced the opposite, which is why many people love to watch horror movies or deliberately provoke conflicts because of the joy of resolving a quarrel and the happiness of reconciliation

  1. Solomon’s concept helps us understand the previously incomprehensible lack of logic in many human actions: contrary to common sense (and Freud’s concept 3), people often seek negative emotions and avoid positive ones. There is a kind of “postponement” of pleasure, which will inevitably be followed by troubles.