Apples and oranges: three criteria for positive emotion typologies

Pieter MA Desmet, Disa A. Sauter, Michelle N. Shiota

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Positive emotion typologies, that is, classifications of positive emotions into conceptually distinct categories or ‘types’ according to their properties, can clarify and simplify the complex structure of positive emotion space. In this review, we introduce three key evaluative criteria for such typologies: comprehensiveness, distinctiveness, and granularity. Comprehensiveness is the degree to which the typology accurately represents the boundaries of positive emotion space; distinctiveness is whether emotional states are clustered on the basis of a consistent aspect of emotion; and granularity is the level of nuance and detail in categorization. These criteria provide standards by which the quality of existing typologies can be judged, as well as guiding the development of new typologies. Multiple valid and useful positive emotion typologies can be described; these criteria can guide scholars in selecting the typology that best suits their needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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