Research suggests opposing emotions expose hidden motivations

Ever experienced something so beautiful it makes you want to cry? Scientists from Yale have studied the phenomenon of opposing emotions and found that it could be a case of an underlying motivation coming to the surface, rather than experiencing multiple reactions.

The study found that expressions associated with anger were related to people feeling anxious. Expressions associated with sadness were based on feelings of wanting to pause and take in a situation. So, nibbling on baby toes doesn’t mean you’re a monster. It’s a sign you find the little one so adorable that you can barely contain yourself. And if you’ve ever heard a great rock song on the radio and felt like punching the air, it doesn’t mean you’re feeling rage – it could just mean you’re exploding with motivation and inspiration.