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I've always loved pondering emotion theories and usually agree with them, but Plutchik describes the intense form of anticipation to be Vigilance, and this is quite confusing to me.

Vigilance as defined on wiki:

"In modern psychology, vigilance, also termed sustained concentration, is defined as the ability to maintain concentrated attention over prolonged periods of time."

This describes a character trait and not an emotion. So my question is has the meaning of vigilance changed since Plutchik's theory, and if so what would be the modern equivalent of this emotion. Or did Plutchik drop the ball on this part of an otherwise excellent theory.

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Well, there's a bunch of problems with Plutchik's theory in general.

Plutchik uses vigilance to describe a high arousal state of exploration. He administered a (dichotomous) semantic differentiation task to study different emotion words, and vigilance was above all described as good (vs. bad), strong (vs. weak), active (vs. passive), and constrained (vs. spacious). Based on these ideas, vigilance could probably be considered an emotion.

However, whether this is an emotion depends (1) on your theory of emotions and (2) on how the word is used (conceptually/semantically).

From the contemporary theory of constructed emotions, vigilance could be an emotion if you use it to conceptualize your affect in a given situation. So if you feel negative, highly aroused and alert, and believe there are a million spiders hiding nearby, you could conceptualize this affective state as vigilance ("I feel vigilant"). In this case, vigilance would be an emotion. (According to these criteria, virtually any string of letters could be an emotion.)

However, if vigilance is only describing a particular state of attentional deployment, then it wouldn't be considered an emotion (although it would still be a conceptualization, but of your attention, not your affect).

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Vigilance is a state of consciousness, medically, "the quality or state of being wakeful and alert; degree of wakefulness or responsiveness to stimuli".

http://c.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/vigilance

Objectively, vigilance does not have to correlate with anticipation (we can be conscious and focused on work, without anticipating developments), just as pensiveness does not have to come with sadness (we can think for no sad reason at all).

Mr. Plutchik's theorem is being adapted for robotics.

http://www.scriptol.com/robotics/plutchik.php

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