Researchers have revealed that the basic six emotions could have more obscure ones such as elevation, gratitude, pride and confusion as their 21st-century companions.
Experts have suggested that the present Big Six, namely joy, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust, that humans all over the world exhibit with the same dramatic and characteristic facial expressions, could share the title other emotions that have come to the fore in a more subtle world.
Jonathan Haidt, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and his student, Jennifer Silvers, worked on the possibility of elevation as a possible inclusion.
"If you ask people to remember their most cherished experiences of their whole life, elevatory moments are likely to feature in their top five," New Scientist quoted Haidt as saying.
Psychologist Paul Silvia, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, said the curious emotion interest could also make a case for status boost over its ability to keep us engaged in our frenetic lives.
Sara Algoe, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, advocated gratitude because it makes us feel more 'connected', especially in romantic relationships.
Jessica Tracy, University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, focused on pride splitting it into what she calls "hubristic pride" and "authentic pride".
She said: "One is associated with aggression and overconfidence, while the other motivates achievement, hard work and altruistic behaviour."
Dacher Keltner, University of California, Berkeley, made a strong case for thinking confusion as basic emotion descriving its as the "feeling that the environment is giving insufficient or contradictory information".
Silvia backed the suggestion, adding it is our brain's way of telling us that the way we are thinking about things is not working and could serve to bring new knowledge and encourage social relationships, making it, perhaps, the perfect 21st-century emotion.