PSYCH 2B03 Lecture 21: Psych 2BO3 Lecture 21 Behavioral Inhibition

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18 Mar 2016
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Jerome Kagan - Behavioral Inhibition
Identifying Behaviorally Inhibited Children
117 Caucasian 22-month old boys in playroom
Introduced them individually into a toy filled playroom
Mom and examiner join child on floor, act out behaviors of varying complexity
Examiner leaves, stranger (female adult) enters, asks child to join her.
Examiner returns reveals noisy robot,
Examiner leaves, mother leaves, child alone
Examined fear, hesitation, crying, withdrawal
Classified as uninhibited, all the way to middling
10% inhibited
70% Middling
20% uninhibited
Kids who were extremely inhibited at age 2, seem to remain inhibited later on
(roughly equivalent to the "difficult" infants in previous classification of
This suggested biological bases of personality
Behaviorally Inhibited Children
Slow to start conversation with unfamiliar adult or per
Seldom smile spontaneously with unfamiliar other
Slow to relax in unfamiliar situations
Memory impaired following stress
Cautious decision makers
Unusual fears or phobias
Physiology of Inhibited Children
HR up during stress, or when standing up - stronger than regular kids
Diastolic BP up when they stand up
Pupillary dilation under stress
Higher muscle tension
Higher right frontal cortex activation
This is the area associated with negative emotions, maybe leads to higher
level of neuroticism
More allergies
More activity in HPA axis, RAS, ANS (sympathetic branch)
*** at age 2 he already identifies these people like a neurotic introvert as Eysenck would
go by
Inhibition and "somatotype"
People used to identify body types with personality
60% of inhibited children have blue eyes
60 of uninhibited children have brown eyes
More kin of inhibited children have blue eyes/ of uninhibited have brown
Inhibited boys have narrow faces, thin builds
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