The Most Popular Emotion: Ranking Human Sentiments

Choose the emotion you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 11, 2024 06:03
Welcome to StrawPoll's most thrilling ranking yet: "What is the most popular emotion?" This is your chance to dive deep into the world of emotions and let your voice be heard! Join thousands of others as we embark on a rollercoaster of feelings, exploring the intricate layers of human emotions and discovering which one reigns supreme in the hearts of our voters. Will it be the warmth of love or the excitement of joy? Perhaps the strength of anger, or the soothing calm of serenity? Cast your vote, make your mark, and don't hesitate to suggest a missing emotion that deserves a spot in our ever-evolving list. So, buckle up and prepare to embark on an emotion-packed journey, as we unveil the ultimate ranking of the most popular emotions, handpicked by you!

What Is the Most Popular Emotion?

  1. 1
    People often seek happiness and pleasure in their lives, as it is a positive emotion that can improve mental and physical health.
    Happiness is a state of joy, pleasure, and contentment that encompasses a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. It is characterized by a positive outlook, a sense of purpose, and a feeling of inner peace.
    • Emotional well-being: Happiness is closely tied to emotional well-being, promoting positive emotions, and minimizing negative ones.
    • Sense of fulfillment: Happiness involves a profound sense of fulfillment and contentment with one's life.
    • Satisfaction with relationships: Strong and healthy relationships contribute significantly to overall happiness and well-being.
    • Positive mindset: A positive mindset is a crucial aspect of happiness, leading to an optimistic outlook on life.
    • Meaning and purpose: Having a sense of meaning and purpose in life enhances happiness and provides a sense of direction.
  2. 2
    Love is a powerful emotion that connects people and can bring joy and fulfillment to one's life.
    Love is an intense feeling of affection, warmth, and deep attachment towards someone or something. It is a complex emotion that is characterized by compassion, care, and generosity.
    • Unconditional: Love is not based on conditions or expectations
    • Selfless: Love is giving without expecting anything in return
    • Empathetic: Love involves understanding and feeling the emotions of others
    • Powerful: Love has the ability to transform people and relationships
    • Universal: Love is a feeling that transcends cultures, languages, and borders
  3. 3
    Anger is a natural human emotion that can arise from frustration, injustice, or other triggers. It can also motivate people to take action and make changes in their lives.
    Anger is a strong and intense emotion characterized by feelings of hostility, frustration, and resentment. It often arises in response to perceived threats, injustice, or frustration of desires. Anger can cause a range of physiological and psychological responses, including increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and aggressive behavior.
    • Intensity: High
    • Triggers: Perceived threats, injustice, frustration
    • Physiological response: Increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure
    • Psychological response: Hostility, frustration, resentment
    • Duration: Varies, typically short-lived
  4. 4
    Sadness is a common emotion that arises from loss, disappointment, or other negative experiences. While it can be unpleasant, it is a natural and necessary part of the human experience.
    Sadness is a complex emotional state characterized by feelings of unhappiness, sorrow, and despair. It is typically triggered by various adverse circumstances such as loss, rejection, disappointment, or failure. Sadness often manifests as a sense of heaviness, low energy, and a lack of motivation. It can also lead to tearfulness, social withdrawal, and a pessimistic outlook on life.
    • Range: Mild sadness to profound grief
    • Physical Symptoms: Low energy, reduced appetite, crying
    • Psychological Effects: Feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
    • Duration: Varies from brief episodes to prolonged periods
    • Triggers: Loss, rejection, trauma, disappointment
  5. 5
    Fear is an instinctual emotion that helps protect people from danger. It can be triggered by real or perceived threats and can also motivate people to take action to avoid harm.
    Fear is a powerful and complex emotion that can be experienced by individuals in various situations. It is generally characterized by a feeling of unease, anxiety, and worry. Fear can have a significant impact on a person's thoughts, behaviors, and overall well-being, often leading to avoidance and other defensive mechanisms.
    • Universal: Fear is a universal human experience, occurring across different cultures and societies.
    • Basic survival instinct: Fear is considered to be a primal response that aids in human survival by triggering fight, flight, or freeze responses in potentially dangerous situations.
    • Subjective: Fear is a subjective emotion and can vary in intensity and triggers from person to person.
    • Physiological response: Fear activates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and other physical signs of stress.
    • Learned response: Fear can be a learned response through conditioning, traumatic experiences, or observing fearful reactions in others.
  6. 6
    Surprise is a sudden and unexpected emotion that arises from a novel or unexpected experience. It can be positive or negative and can lead to a range of other emotions.
    Surprise is a complex emotional state that occurs when something unexpected or astonishing happens. It is characterized by a sudden and unexpected reaction, often involving shock, joy, or a combination of both. Surprise can arise from a wide range of stimuli, including events, news, or sudden realizations.
    • Physical Manifestations: Wide eyes, opened mouth, raised eyebrows
    • Psychological Response: Increased heart rate, heightened senses, temporary loss of focus
    • Duration: Varies from momentary to prolonged, depending on the intensity and impact of the surprise
    • Causes: Unexpected events, shocking news, sudden realizations
    • Emotional Experience: A mix of astonishment, wonder, curiosity, joy, or even fear
  7. 7
    Jealousy is an emotion that arises from a sense of perceived threat or competition. It can be a negative emotion that can lead to feelings of envy, anger, or resentment.
    Jealousy is a complex and intense emotion characterized by feelings of insecurity, fear, anger, and resentment. It arises when one feels threatened by the possibility of losing something they value, usually a romantic partner, to a perceived rival. Jealousy often involves a sense of possessiveness, an intense desire for exclusive attention, and a fear of inadequacy or rejection.
    • Nature: Emotion
    • Primary feeling: Insecurity
    • Secondary feelings: Fear, anger, resentment
    • Trigger: Perceived threat of losing something valuable
    • Typical targets: Romantic partners, friends, possessions
  8. 8
    Curiosity is an emotion that arises from a desire to learn and explore new things. It can be a positive emotion that leads to knowledge and growth.
    Curiosity is a personality trait characterized by a strong desire to explore, learn, and understand the world. It is the intrinsic motivation to seek new experiences, knowledge, and challenges. Curious individuals are driven by a genuine eagerness to ask questions, investigate, and discover.
    • 1: Inquisitive nature
    • 2: Open-mindedness
    • 3: Love for learning
    • 4: Adaptability
    • 5: Risk-taking
  9. 9
    Disgust is an emotion that arises from a sense of revulsion or aversion to something. It can be triggered by physical or social cues and can lead to a range of behaviors.
    Disgust is an emotion characterized by a strong feeling of revulsion, repulsion or aversion towards something or someone. It is often accompanied by physical discomfort, such as nausea or a feeling of unease. Disgust is usually triggered by things that are considered impure, offensive, or repulsive, either in a physical or moral sense. It is a universal emotion experienced by humans across different cultures and often serves as a protective mechanism to avoid potential harm or disease.
    • Physiological Response: Increased heart rate, wrinkling of the nose, nausea
    • Facial Expression: Upper lip raise, wrinkling of the nose, narrowed brows
    • Cognitive Functioning: Enhanced attention to the source of disgust, increased perceptual sensitivity
    • Cultural Differences: Some cultural variations in what triggers disgust
    • Protective Function: Avoidance of potential harm or disease
  10. 10
    Guilt is an emotion that arises from a sense of wrongdoing or moral failure. It can be a negative emotion that leads to feelings of shame or remorse.
    Guilt is a complex and deeply emotional characteristic of life that arises from a sense of remorse or responsibility for a perceived wrongdoing or mistake. It is often accompanied by feelings of self-blame, regret, and a desire for atonement or redemption.
    • Emotional impact: Guilt can cause intense emotional distress and lead to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and shame.
    • Self-reflection: Guilt often prompts individuals to reflect on their actions, motivations, and intentions, fostering personal growth and moral development.
    • Subjective experience: The intensity and impact of guilt can vary greatly among individuals based on their values, beliefs, and personal experiences.
    • Social influence: Guilt can be shaped by societal norms, cultural expectations, and the influence of others, leading individuals to conform to accepted standards of behavior.
    • Motivational factor: Guilt can serve as a powerful motivator for behavior change, encouraging individuals to make amends, seek forgiveness, or prevent future mistakes.

Missing your favorite emotion?


Ranking factors for popular emotion

  1. Universality
    Consider whether the emotion is universally experienced and recognized across different cultures and societies. Some emotions may be more prevalent or important in certain cultural contexts than others.
  2. Frequency
    Analyze how often people experience a particular emotion in their daily life. Emotions that are experienced more frequently might be considered more popular.
  3. Intensity
    Assess the intensity of the emotion, as stronger emotions might have a more significant impact on people's lives and may be considered more popular.
  4. Duration
    Consider the duration of the emotion, as longer-lasting emotions might be deemed more popular by some.
  5. Social influence
    Analyze how the emotion influences social interactions and relationships. Emotions that have a more significant effect on social dynamics may be considered more popular.
  6. Functional significance
    Evaluate the functional role of the emotion, such as whether it plays a crucial role in decision-making, motivation, or survival. Emotions that have greater functional significance might be ranked higher in terms of popularity.
  7. Expression
    Consider how the emotion is expressed, as emotions that are more easily and visibly expressed may be considered more popular.
  8. Research interest
    Analyze the amount of research dedicated to studying a particular emotion. Emotions that are widely studied may be more popular within the scientific and academic communities.
  9. Cultural relevance
    Assess the cultural importance of the emotion. Some emotions might be more popular in certain cultures due to their particular values or beliefs.
  10. Personal experience
    Ultimately, people's perception and experience of emotions influence their ranking of emotions' popularity, which might differ from one individual to another.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular emotion. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or emotion is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 179 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each emotion once every 24 hours. The rank of each emotion is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular emotion

Emotions are an integral part of human life, and they play a vital role in shaping our experiences and interactions with others. From joy to sadness, anger to fear, and everything in between, emotions are a complex and multifaceted aspect of human psychology. But what is the most popular emotion? Is it happiness, which is often associated with positive experiences and good vibes? Or is it sadness, which can be a powerful force in our lives, driving us to seek comfort and support from others? Perhaps it's anger, which can be a driving force for change and action in the face of injustice and inequality? Or maybe it's love, which is often touted as the most powerful emotion of all, fueling our connections and relationships with those we care about most. No matter what the answer may be, exploring the most popular emotions can provide valuable insights into the human experience and help us better understand ourselves and others.

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