By nature, Vulcans are more emotional than humans:

Contrary to stereotype, Vulcans possess strong emotions. They use meditation as a way to suppress those emotions. For instance, emotions like remorse, relief, joy, and embarrassment were all displayed by Spock when he thought Captain Kirk was dead and then saw him alive. (TOS: "Amok Time"). Indeed, Vulcan emotions were far more intense, violent, and passionate than those of many other species, including even Humans. (TNG: "Sarek")

From the Memory Alpha article on Vulcans

So, as a half Vulcan / Human, assuming emotion intensity is levelled by interbreeding, he should have less intense emotions than a pure Vulcan. On the other hand, he's teased for being half human as a child, depicted in the 2009 film, for having emotional responses.

Therefore, how intense are Spocks emotions compared to a full blood Vulcan and is it easier or more difficult for him to remain logical?

  • I'd agree. He shouldn't be more emotional as his Vulcan biology intuitively should be equal or less than a full Vulcan or Romulan. But in-universe I'm not aware of that ever being claimed. Rather obviously everyone uses Human as a shorthand for Spock's internal conflict despite all of Vulcan society being focused on the same conflict. I'd speculate full Vulcans would refer to their emotional aspects as primitive rather than human. Of course he also has a very human conflict with his father that isn't helping. Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


It’s suggested in Star Trek: The Motion Picture that Spock’s failure to obtain Kolinar and the ultimate shedding of emotion is attributable to his “human half” and his “human emotions.”

                        (continuing; sadly)
                This consciousness which calls --
                it stirs your human half, Spock?
                You have not achieved Kolinahr --
                Your human emotions are not fully
                       (turns to the other Masters)
                He will not achieve his goal with
                us. His answer lies elsewhere.

This jibes with comments from the bullies and scientific council in Abrams Trek treating Spock’s human half as a disability when it comes to controlling emotion. And unlike those instances, it seems unlikely that the Vulcan masters who have completely shed emotion are speaking from prejudice.

One possibility that would explain the seeming contradiction is that while humans have less strong emotions, we are also less adept at controlling emotions. Vulcan suppression of emotion is often put down to meditative techniques and quasi-telepathic rituals. It’s possible that as a half-human, Spock is not as adept at these techniques in the same way that half-Betazed Deanna Troi is only empathetic rather than telepathic.

  • Spock seems to be quite good at Vulcan telepathy despite the small number of examples. Only Sybok seems stronger. I'd agree that Vulcan brain plasticity (ease at neural rearrangement) is implied to be higher - probably in some Voyager episode. Despite that Spock still seems to be a genius even compared to Vulcans. Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 20:35

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