AI-generated content with an attitude

abstract representation of emotions

Paul Ekman, a psychologist known for his research on facial expressions, identified six basic emotions that he believed were universally recognized across different cultures. These emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise.

Here’s a brief description of each emotion along with a sentence that characterizes it and suggested dominant colors that might represent it.


This emotion is characterized by feelings of pleasure, contentment, and joy. It often involves smiling, laughter, and a general sense of well-being.

Sentence: Happiness lights up the face with a broad, genuine smile.

Dominant Colors: Bright yellow and orange, which are warm and uplifting.


Sadness is associated with feelings of loss, disappointment, and despair. It can manifest as crying, a downturned mouth, and a slumped posture.

Sentence: Sadness often brings a quiet, introspective mood and a desire to withdraw.

Dominant Colors: Dark blues and grays, reflecting the somber, subdued nature of the emotion.


This is a response to threats and danger, characterized by feelings of dread, anxiety, and alarm. Physical reactions might include a fast heartbeat, widened eyes, and an adrenaline rush.

Sentence: Fear triggers a fight-or-flight response, preparing the body for immediate action.

Dominant Colors: Black and dark purples, which evoke mystery and the unknown.


Disgust is a reaction to something offensive, unpleasant, or revolting, typically involving something seen, smelled, or tasted.

Sentence: Disgust manifests as a turning away from the offensive stimulus and a contortion of the face.

Dominant Colors: Green and brown, colors that often signify decay and repulsion.


Anger involves feelings of hostility and frustration towards someone or something perceived as deliberately harmful or unfair.

Sentence: Anger is marked by a scowl, clenched fists, and sometimes aggressive behavior.

Dominant Colors: Red and black, symbolizing intensity and aggression.


This emotion is a response to an unexpected event and can be either positive or negative. It involves sudden, wide-eyed expression and heightened alertness.

Sentence: Surprise causes one to momentarily freeze, enhancing alertness to new information.

Dominant Colors: Bright white and silver, reflecting the sharp, sudden nature of the emotion.

Text by ChatGPT (GPT-4), from the prompt: “Briefly describe the six ‘basic human emotions’ as defined by Paul Ekman. Then for each of these emotions, describe it in one sentence and associate it with the dominant colors that would best characterize it.”

Images by Dall-E 3, from the prompt: “an abstract painting that represents the concept of XXX as a human emotion”, sometimes specifying “without any recognizable face.”

Some of these images can be collected as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain (“abstract emotions“, collection of 6 unique NFTs)


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