Source: Jaak Panksepp on the SEEKING-EXPECTANCY system

Jaak Panksepp has identified seven basic emotional systems across species: SEEKING, FEAR, RAGE, LUST, CARE, PANIC, AND PLAYfulness. In this quote he suggests why we are hardwired for optimism:

“It is evident that the SEEKING-EXPECTANCY system is a general-purpose system for obtaining all kinds of resources that exist in the world, from nuts to knowledge, so to speak. In short, it participates in all appetitive behaviors that precede consummation: it generates the urge to search for any and all of the “fruits” of the environment; it energizes the dynamic eagerness for positive experiences from tasty food to sexual possibilities to political power; it galvanizes people and animals to overcome dangers either by opposing them or by escaping to safety; it invigorates humans and prompts us to engage in the grand task of creating civilizations. But in the beginning, at birth, it is just “a goad without a goal” (Panksepp, 1971) that opens up the gateways to engagement with the world, and hence knowledge.” Panksepp, Jaak, & Biven, Lucy, The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotion, 2012, p. 102.

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