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Lecture 5

Week 5 readings.docx

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David Haley

Week 5 readings Chapter 5: Emotions – Thoughts about Feelings What are emotions? - Primary emotion: fear, joy, disgust, surprise, sadness and interest which emerge early in life and do not require introspection or self-reflection - Secondary or self-conscious emotions: pride, shame, guilt, jealousy, embarrassment and empathy, which emerge in the second year of life and depend on a sense of self and the awareness of other ppls reactions Why are emotions important? - Way in which children let others know how they feel - Emotions linked to children’s social success emotions linked to children’s mental and physical health Perspectives on emotional development - Biological perspective  Emotional expressions are innate and universal, rooted in human evolution and based on anatomical structures  Basic emotions such as happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, and disgust are the same in different cultures  universal  All infants begin to smile at 46 week post-conception  Left hemisphere of the brain = emotion of joy  Right hemisphere = expression of fear - Learning perspective  When parents respond to their infant’s smiles it encourages the infant to smile more  responding with positive stimulation  Learning experiences can reinforce children’s fear response - Functional perspective  Purpose of emotions is to help ppl achieve their social and survival goals, such as making a new friend or staying out of danger  Ways that emotions function: 1. One way emotions function is that they impel children toward their goals 2. Emotional signals provide feedback that guides other ppls behaviour 3. Memories of past emotions shape how ppl respond to new situations  Emotions help children achieve their goals, establish and maintain social relationships and adapt to their environment Development of emotions - Coding system for infant emotional expressions is the Maximally Discriminative Facial Movement (Max) - Primary emotions  Joy  Reflex smile: a upturned moth seen in the newborn that is usually spontaneous and appears to depend on some internal stimulus rather than on something external such another person’s behaviour  These smiles have adaptive value for the infant by ensuring caregiver attention and stimulation  Means of communication and an aid for survival  Social smiles: upturned mouth in response to a human face or voice, which first occurs when the infant is about 2 months old  By the time babies are 3 months they smile more to familiar faces rather than unfamiliar  smiling starts to signal pleasure rather than emotional arousal  Duchenne smiles: smile reflecting genuine pleasure, shown in crinkles around the eyes as well as an upturned mouth  usually reserved for mothers  How much they smile depend on the social responsiveness of their environment  Differences in smiling related to gender  girls smile more than boys which continues into adulthood  Expression of emotion change with age  Study: auditory stimuli showed few laughs at any age; tactile stimuli elicited substantial amount of laughter, but only at -9 months; visual and social stimuli elicited more laughter overall and the likelihood of this laughter increased with age  Fear  2 phases in the emergence of this emotion: 1. 3-7 months, infants develop wariness, exhibited when encountering events they do not understand  not afraid at first when confronted and by 6 months infants react to strangers with a sober expression and perhaps a bit of distress 2. 7-9 months, where infants show true fear  an immediate negative reaction to an event or person they don’t recognize and don’t like  Stranger distress or fear of strangers: a negative emotional reaction to unfamiliar emerges in infants around the age of 9 months  Baby’s reaction depends on how parents react to a stranger  Infants use parents as a social referencing point when they find themselves in unfamiliar situations  Social referencing: process of reading emotional cues in others to help determine how to act in an uncertain situation  Affects of infants to strangers is the degree to which the situation allows the infant some control over the strangers behaviour  Common fears in different cultures: fear of separation from the mother  separation anxiety: fear of being apart from a familiar caregiver which typically peaks at 15 months of age  Anger  Newborns first negative emotions is startle, disgust and distress  Not until 2-3months infant display anger  Sadness  In infancy occurs less often than anger  In older infant separation from the mother could lead to sadness - Secondary emotions  Pride and shame  Pleased with accomplishments they show pride; when perceive that someone finds them wanting or deficient they show shame  To feel shame they must be able to assess their own behaviour and judge whether it is acceptable in the eyes of others  Jealousy  Experienced form early childhood to adolescence  Can occur as early as 1 year  Guilt  At 22 months children look guilty  At 33-56months children expressed fewer negative emotions but guilt leaked out in more subtle ways such as squirming and hanging their heads  Empathy  A shared emotional response that parallels another person’s feelings  Earliest precursor of empathetic responding to distress is newborns crying in response to hearing other infants cry - Individual differences in emotional expressiveness  Associations with temperament suggest that biological factors play a central role in how intensely children react to emotionally arousing situations and how well they regulate their reactions  Individual differences in positive and negative emotionality are also related to children’s overall adjustment  Children with more negative emotions experience a higher rate of developmental problems; children who are emotionally more positive have higher-self-esteem, more social competence and better adjustment Development of emotional understanding - Recognizing emotions in others  Between ages of 3-6 months babies are exposed to parents and other caregivers facial expressions of emotion 32 000 times  During this peak period parents facial expressions represent an effective way to communicate their feelings and wishes to infants who cannot yet understand language  Positive emotions recognized more often and earlier than negative  Recognition of joy before anger has a functional value  recognition of joy provides rewarding experiences for the infant and strengthens the mother-infant bond, facilitating mutually rewarding experiences  Anger recognition is not adaptive in the first year of life  beyond the capacity  Early experience affects children’s abilities to recognize emotions  Recognition of mother emotional expression first than fathers  3-4 yrs old children that have not been abused or neglected or institutionalized can recognize and correctly label other ppls expressions of happiness, sadness, anger and fear  In individualistic societies emotional expressions are considered spontaneous manifestatio
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