BUILDING BLOCK dimensional level


BUILDING BLOCK 8-level to 64-level


‘Agressivity’ and colour in Germany

Agressivity: red 50%, black 10%, yellow 10%, …
Heller (1989)

‘Brutality’ and colour in Germany

Brutality: black 41%, red 24%, brown 18%, …
Heller (1989)

‘Danger’ and colour in Germany

Danger: red 43%, black 24%, orange 12%, …
Heller (1989)

‘Evil’ and colour in Germany

Evil: black 62%, brown 12%, …
Heller (1989)

Anger in movement

Sawada, Suda and Ishii (2003) investigated the relationships between the characteristics of arm movements (such as speed, strength, directness) and emotional expression. They found anger is depicted with fast and powerful movements.

Black and dirty

Linguistically, ‘black’ is related to the Latin sordidus, which means dirty, mean and nasty.
Heller (1989)


Cooperativeness quantifies the extent to which individuals conceive themselves as integral parts of human society, and corresponds with the psychoticism trait.

Low in cooperativeness: aggressively self-centred and hostile, intolerant, callous, unhelpful, and vengeful. intolerance, social disinterest, unhelpfulness, revengefulness, self-advantage.

High in cooperativeness: agreeable in their relations with other people, socially tolerant, empathic, helpful, and compassionate, unconditional acceptance of others, empathy with others’ feelings and willingness to help without a desire for selfish domination. Social acceptance, Empathy, Helpfulness, Compassion, Principles. Highly cooperative persons are described as empathic, tolerant, compassionate, supportive and principled. These features are advantageous in teamwork and social groups, but not for individuals who prefer to live in a solitary manner.
(Cloninger, 1994)

Eight basic temperaments and their variations

Mehrabian (1987; 1991) developed eight basic temperaments and their variations, defined in the PAD-model (Pleasure, Arousal, Dominance).
exuberant +P+A+D vs. bored -P-A-D
dependent +P+A-D vs. disdainful -P-A+D
relaxed +P-A+D vs. anxious -P+A-D
docile +P-A-D vs. hostile – P+A+D

  • Exuberant= + Pleasure, + Arousal, + Dominance. Related emotions are extrovert, outgoing, happy, social.
  • Bored = – Pleasure, – Arousal, – Dominance. Related emotions are sad, lonely, socially withdrawn, physically inactive.
  • Dependent = + Pleasure, + Arousal, – Dominance. Related emotions are attached to people, helpless, interpersonal positive and social.
  • Disdainful = – Pleasure, – Arousal, + Dominance. Related emotions are jealous, loner, withdrawn and calculated, sometimes anti-social.
  • Relaxed = + Pleasure, – Arousal, + Dominance. Related emotions are comfortable, confident, self-assured, able to withstand stress.
  • Anxious = – Pleasure, + Arousal, – Dominance. Related emotions are worried, nervous, insecure, tense, unhappy, easily sick.
  • Docile = + Pleasure, – Arousal, – Dominance. Related emotions are pleasant, unemotional, indulgent, kind, behave appropriately.
  • Hostile = – Pleasure, + Arousal, + Dominance. Related emotions are angry, negative emotional, possibly violent.
Psychoticism, hormones and enzymes

There is a biological explanation of psychoticism in terms of gonadal hormones such as testosterone and enzymes such as monoamine oxidase (MAO). People who show a psychotic episode have increased testosterone levels and low MAO levels. Impulsivity and aggressiveness were negatively correlated with MAO.
(Eysenck, 1990)

The personality dimension ‘hardness’

Hardness is characterized by the traits aggressiveness, assertiveness, achievement orientation, manipulation, sensation seeking, dogmatism and masculinity.
(Eysenck & Wilson, 1977)