What is hagioptasia?


The theory of hagioptasia proposes a newly identified human emotion – the effects of its influence having previously been attributed as solely the products of the human intellect, the ‘heart’, and the ‘soul’. 

Like other basic emotions – such as ‘fear’ and ‘aggression’ – hagioptasia is an innate psychological mechanism, passed down through our evolutionary heritage to direct our behaviour in particular ways. We experience hagioptasia in a very similar way to how we experience ‘fear’; like fear, hagioptasia is also excitable, compulsive, varying in intensity, socialised and attached to aspects of the world around us from infancy onwards. But while ‘fear’ is an instinct of avoidance – a deep seated, abstract sense of ‘dread’ – hagioptasia is a drive to generate ‘appreciation’; an abstract sense of ‘specialness’ or ‘glory’.

Why would such an emotion exist & what evidence supports hagioptasia theory?

This section is currently being revised, but in the meantime some of the answers to these questions can be found in this article .