Robert Plutchik, who died Saturday at 78, was a professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a widely-cited authority who wrote textbooks on emotions.
He was best known for his theory, laid out in "Emotion: a Psychoevolutionary Synthesis" (1980), that there are eight primary emotions, which can to some extent be recognized in all animals. These are joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation. It was Plutchik's insight that emotions could be laid out in a circular arrangement, much like a color wheel, and then combined into secondary emotional states. Love, for instance, was in this schema a combination of joy and acceptance. Delight was a combination of surprise and joy.
This last emotion was of particular interest to marketing professionals, who valued Plutchik's work for laying out a graphic way of testing consumer response to advertising. Delight is an emotion many marketers hope to evoke in potential customers.
Plutchik grew up in Brooklyn, the son of Russian immigrants. He attended City College and received his Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University in 1952. He held research positions at Hofstra and at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons before coming to Albert Einstein in 1971.
An expert also on suicide and violence, Plutchik was author of seven books, most of them textbooks on psy chology and emotions. The last was "Emotions and Life: Perspectives from psychology, biology and evolution" (2003).
He retired to Sarasota in the late 1990s, where he served as adjunct faculty at the University of South Florida.
Plutchik was also a poet, and selfpublished a collection of his work shortly before his death. Wood and marble sculptures and etchings he produced of animals, real and imaginary, decorated the walls of his home.
Born October 21, 1927, in Brooklyn; died April 29 in Sarasota, Fla.; survived by his wife, Anita Freyberg, three children, Lisa Silva, Lori Plutchik, and Roy Plutchik, and three grandchildren.