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Chapter Ten.docx

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Psychology 2040A/B
Jackie Sullivan

Chapter Ten: Emotional Development Functions of Emotions - Emotion is a rapid appraisal of the personal significance of the situation, which prepares you for action - Ex. Happiness leads you to approach, sadness to withdrawal, fear to move away & anger to overcome obstacles o An emotion, then, expresses you readiness to establish, maintain or change your relation to the environment on a matter of importance to you - A number of theorist take a functionalist approach to emotion, emphasizing the broad function of emotions is to energize behaviour aimed at attaining personal goals - Things that become relevant cause emotions o Goals, others’ social behaviours, sensation/state of mind – emotional reactions affect desire to repeat the experience - Emotions arise from ongoing exchanges between the person & the environment - Emotions are central in all our endeavours – cognitive processing, social behaviour & health Emotions & Cognitive Processing - Emotional reactions can lead to learning that is essential for survival - The emotion-cognitive relationship is evident in the impact of anxiety on performance (high anxiety impairs thinking & memory) - The relationship between emotion & cognitive progressing is bidirectional from the start of birth, serves outcomes of mastery & as the energizing force continued learning Emotions & Social Behaviour - Emotional signals (like smiling) affects the behaviours of others - By 3 months, babies pay attention to facial responses; babies between 2-7 months will react if they see a stilled face, it the face remains still, the baby will turn away & frown (withdrawal) o This still-face reaction occurs only when natural human communication is disrupted o Clearly, when engaged in face-to-face interaction, even young infants expect their partners to be emotionally responsive - With age, emotional expressions become more deliberate o Also, by end of first year, skilled at joint attention – following the caregiver’s line of regard – pick up verbal & emotional information - Also, when confronted when a unfamiliar face, babies look at caregiver to see how they react o Social referencing – how children learn how to behave in many situations Emotions & Health - Most research shows that emotions influence physical well-being o Growth faltering & psychosocial dwarfism involve emotional deprivation - Stress results in many health difficulties (mental & physical) o Cortisol in their salvia – response linked to persistent illness, learning & behaviour problems o Kids who spent more time in an orphanage had higher cortisol levels, even after they are adopted but other studies showed that they had low cortisol levels which stunted growth (GH) o Good parenting seems to protect the young brain from potentially damaging effects of both excessive & inadequate stress-hormone exposure Other Features of the Functionalist Approach - Emotions also contribute to the emergence of self-awareness o Interest & excitement that babies display help them forge a sense of self-efficacy – confidence in their own ability to control events in their surroundings - When self-awareness is developed, children experience new emotions o Two self-conscious emotions that have to do with evaluating self’s goodness or badness in relation to standards for mortality, social behaviour & task mastery - We adapt to our physical & social worlds, children gain control over emotions o Emotional self-regulation, master cultural rules for when & how to convey emotion Development of Emotional Expression - Babies have a hard time expressing themselves, but mainly use facial expressions - Around the world, facial expressions are associated the same way o Same general response can express several emotions - In line with dynamic systems perspective, emotional expressions vary with the person’s developing capacities, goals & context; to infer, might look at multiple cues, like vocal, facial & gestural Basic Emotions - Basic Emotions – happiness, interest, surprise, etc. – are universal in humans & other primates & have a long evolutionary history of promoting survival - When first born, only have 2 main emotions o Attraction to pleasant stimulation o Withdrawal from unpleasant stimulation  Only gradually do emotions become clear - The dynamic system perspective helps us understand how this happens o Children coordinate separate skills into more effective, emotionally expressive systems as CNS develops & goals & experiences change - One view thinks that a sensitive caregiver communication in which parents mirror aspects of the baby’s emotional behaviour, helps infants construct expressions - With age, children get better at sustaining certain facial expressions - Parents impact emotions o Playful, joyful parents elicit pleasant baby emotions o Unresponsive parents evoke sad face & fussy babies - 4 basic emotions (happiness, anger, sadness & fear) Happiness - Expressed first in blissful smiles, later through laughter - There are many ways to elicit happiness for babies (high-pitched voice, eye-contact) - Between 6-10 weeks, the parent’s communication evokes a broad grin called the social smile - Laughter which appears around 3-4 months, reflects faster processing of information & occur in response to active stimuli - Around middle of first year, infants smile & laugh more when interacting with people (strengthens parent-child bond) - Several smiles, different context o “cheek-raised” parent’s greeting o “mouth-open” during stimulating play - By end of first year, smile becomes a social signal Anger & Sadness - Respond this way to a variety of things (hunger, medical procedures, etc.) - From 4-6 months into the second year, angry expressions increase in frequency & intensity o Increase because capable of intentional behaviour, want to control their own actions o More persistent about obtaining objects & less distracted o Rise in danger is also adaptive - Sadness is less common than anger, occurs when infants are deprived of a caregiver Fear - Like anger, arises during the second half of the first year into the second - Often hesitate before playing with a new toy or back away from heights - Most frequent expression of fear is to unfamiliar adults (stranger anxiety) – babies react differently depending on factors, like temperament, exposure to strangers, etc. - The stranger’s style of interaction reduces fear if warm, approach slowly or holding out a toy - Once wariness develops, infants use the familiar caregiver as a secure base, or point from which to explore, venturing into the environment & then returning for emotional support - As part of this adaptive system, encounters with strangers lead to 2 conflicting tendencies o Approach (indicated by interest & friendliness) o Avoidance (indicated by fear)  Infants behaviour balances between the 2 o Cognitive development permits toddlers to discriminate more effective between threatening & non- threatening situations; stranger anxiety & other fears decline Self-Conscious Emotions - Besides basic emotions, humans are capable of a second, higher-order set of feelings, including guilt, shame, embarrassment, envy & pride o These are called self-conscious emotions because each involves injury to or enhancement of our sense of self - These emotions appear in the middle of second year, become aware of self as an individual o Show it by lowering their eyes, hanging their heads & covering their face when embarrassed or shamed o Also have guilt-like reactions & pride emerges along with envy by age 3 - Besides self-awareness, self-conscious emotions require another person o Parents teach their children to feel pride over personal achievement (Individualist culture) o Children are embarrassed when attention to their personal success, parents show shame (Collectivist) - As self-concept develops, children become increasingly sensitive to praise & blame & listen to feedback from parents, teachers to learn to obligatory rules o Bye age 3, self-conscious emotions are linked to self-evaluation (show more pride is exceed in a more complex task & more shame when failing an easy one) – parent’s influence this - Among Western kids, shame is associated with feelings of personal inadequacy & with maladjustment o Guilt is related to good adjustment – helps them resist harmful impulses – but overwhelming guilt leads to emotional distress (can become depressed at age of 3) - The consequences of shame for children’s adjustment may vary across cultures o Collectivist societies define themselves in relation to their social group, shame is from others’ judgments  Shame is taught early in these societies (in vocab earlier than English) o As children develop inner standards of excellence, they experience self-conscious emotional change  No longer need parents to be present to fell guilt or an accomplishment Emotional Self-Regulation - Refers to the strategies we use to adjust our emotional state to a comfortable level of intensity so we can accomplish our goals o Requires cognitive capacities (attention focusing & shifting, etc.) o Also requires voluntary, effortful management of emotions  This capacity for effortful control improves gradually as the brain (prefrontal cortex) develops & as they learn to manage intense emotions through observation Infancy - Early months o Limited capacity to regulate their emotional states o Easily overwhelmed & depend on caregivers for distraction - By 2-4 months o Prefrontal cortex increases baby’s tolerance for stimulation o Build capacity by face-to-face play & attention to objects - By 4-6 months o Ability to shift attention & engage in self-soothing helps infants control emotion - End of first year o Crawling and walking enable infants to regulate emotion more effectively by approaching or retreating from various situations - When caregivers fail to regulate stressful experiences for infants who cannot yet regulate them for themselves, brain structures that buffer stress may fail to develop properly, resulting in an anxious, emotionally reactive child - In the second year o Language gains help regulate emotions (still not able to manage intense anger – temper tantrums) o Patient, sensitive parents encourage toddlers to describe their internal states Early Childhood - After age 2, children talk about feelings & language become a major means of trying to control them o Thus, fewer emotional outbursts - Watch how their parents react with they are frustrated & strengthens their control & adult-child conversations prepare children for difficult experiences & also foster self-regulation o Some emotionally reactive children act out because of ineffective parenting Middle Childhood & Adolescence - Rapid gain of emotional self-regulation after school entry as they vary their regulation strategies - By 6-8 communicate their emotions with others, but when alone do the same thing but internally (mental level) - Develop self-worth & knowledge of the world so need to face new challenges (poor academics, threats, etc.) - By age 10, shift to use 2 strategies to manage emotions: o Problem-centered coping, they appraise the situation as changeable, identify the difficulty & decide what to do about it (this this doesn’t work, move to next strategy) o Emotional-centered coping, which is internal, private & aimed to at controlling distress when little can be done about the outcome - Cognitive development (planning & inhibition) & a wider range of social experiences contribute to flexible, effective coping strategies - When emotional-regulation has developed well, people acquire a sense of emotional self-efficacy – a feeling of being in control of their emotional experience Acquiring Emotional Display Rules - All societies have emotional display rules that specify when, where & how it is appropriate to express emotions - Parents encourage infants to suppress emotions by showing positive ones (boys need it more than girls) o Maybe that is why boys have a harder time expressing emotion? - Gradually conform to rules & they find it harder to express negative emotions but through interacting with parents, teachers & peers, children learn how to express negative emotions to evoke a response - Collectivist cultures place emphasis on these rules, although there is a variation of how they teach children to inhibit them (Hindus teach how to control emotions while Buddhists point of the value of peaceful disposition - & Americans prefer to convey their anger verbally – Western cultures emphasis on personal rights & self-expression) Understanding & Responding to the Emotions of Others - Many think that expressiveness is innate & tied to our ability to interpret emotional cues of others – emotional contagion (built-in automatic process) - While others these contingencies come from operant conditioning - Around 3-4 months, kids can match facial expressions with verbal segments - As they get older, they realize that emotional expressions have meaning & a meaningful reaction to a specific object or event Social Referencing - Is relying on another person’s emotional reaction to appraise an uncertain situation o This occurs at 8-10 months - A caregivers voice, with or without facial expression is more effective than facial expression alone – voice conveys emotional & verbal information - As recall & language improve, children are able to retain these emotional messages over a longer time - As toddlers begin to appreciate that others’ emotional reactions may differ from their own, they use social referencing to compare the two & assess the events - In sum, in S.R, toddlers move beyond simply reacting to others but use the signals to evaluate the safety & security of their surroundings to guide their actions & gather information about others’ intentions & preferences Emotional Understanding in Children - In preschool, emotional understanding expands rapidly Cognitive Development & Emotional Understanding - By age 4-5, correctly judge the causes of many basic emotions (emphasize external factors over internal) - After age 4, appropriate that desires & beliefs motivate behaviour, grasp how internal factors trigger emotions o Can also come up with how to deal with someone’s negative feelings (hugging them) - Middle childhood, ability to consider conflicting cues when explaining other’s emotional improves o Picture of a happy kid holding his broken bike  4-5 years “He is happy because he likes to ride a bike” (1 cue)  8-9 years “ He is happy because his dad promised to fix his bike” (2 cues together) - Appreciating mixed emotions helps school-age children realize that people’s expressions may not reflect their true feelings (also fosters awareness of self-conscious emotions) - With development of metacognition (thinking about thought), striking gains in thinking about emotion occur in middle childhood Social Experience & Emotional Understanding - The more parents use & express emotions, the better the child’s development of emotion o Maternal prompting of emotional thoughts is a good predictor of emotional language - Should use scaffolding, where the adult teaching must adjust to children’s increasing competence - Those who have a secure attachment bond better understand emotion as it was expressed to them by their parents o Hence, learn about emotions from interacting with adults, siblings & even during make-believe play - Knowledge about emotions help kids engage with others socially (get along with others better) o Children recognize that acknowledging others’ emotions & explaining their own enhance relationships Empathy & Sympathy - Empathy involves a complex interaction of cognition & affect: the ability to detect different emotions, to take another’s emotional perspective & to feel with that person or respond emotionally in a similar way o It is an important motivator of prosocial or altruistic behaviour – actions that benefit another person without any expected reward for the self  Some emphasizing do not yield kindness but instead escalates into personal distress (focuses on their own anxiety instead of the person in need) - Sympathy – feelings of concern or sorrow for another’s plight Development of Empathy - In early development, babies tend to cry in response to others crying - As self-awareness strengthens at the end of the second year, toddlers begin to emphasize o Try to distract with a toy or hug the person (especially the mother) - Older toddlers seem to be able to engage in affective perspective-taking – inferring how another feels by imagining themselves in that person’s place - As language develops, verbally try to comfort those in need - Empathy increases over elementary school years as they begin to understand cues & emotions better - In childhood & adolescence, advance in perspective taking response not just to people’s immediate distress but also their general life condition Individual Differences - Temperament plays a role in whether empathy occurs o Moderately inheritable - Those who are social, assertive & good at regulating emotion are more like to emphasize with others & use positive emotions to do so - In contrast, aggressive children block their capacity for empathy & sympathy because they act out negative feelings - These differences are evident in their facial & neurobiological responses (test: those who reacted to videos were more likely to be prosocial) - Parenting is a big influencer – those who are warm & caring promote their children to be more concerned with others o Important to teach children to importance of kindness & intervene when inappropriate emotions are being shown - Angry, punitive parenting disrupts empathy at an early age (poor emotion regulators & when faced with others being distressed they acted out physically, angrily or fearfully) * If have time review the milestones Temperament & Development - Temperament – early-appearing, stable individual differences in reactivity & self-regulation - Reactivity refers to quickness & intensity of emotional arousal, attention & motor action - Self-regulation refers to strategies that modify that reactivity o Make up temperament are believed to form adult personality traits  Thomas & Chess did a longitudinal study on temperament (more below) The Structure of Temperament - Thomas & Chess model consisting of nine dimensions: o Reactivity  Activity Level (active vs. inactive periods)  Rhythmicity (regularity of body functions)  Distractibility (degree of stimulation from environment)  Approach/Withdrawal (response to objects)  Adaptability (ease of change) o Self-regulation  Attention span & persistence (amount of time devoted to an object)  Intensity of reaction (energy level in responses)  Threshold of responsiveness (stimulation required to evoke behaviour)  Quality of mood (good vs. bad moods) - From these 9 dimensions, yield 3 different types of children o Easy child (40% of sample) quickly establishes regular routines in infancy, is generally cheerful & adapts easily to new experiences o Difficult child (10% of sample) has irregular daily routines, is slow to accept new experiences & tends to react negatively & intensely o Slow-to-warm-up child (15%) is inactive, shows mild, low-key reactions to environmental stimuli, is negative in mood & adjusts slowly to new experiences  35% did not fit into any category  Difficult child has more adjustment problems (anxiety) and has the most problems out of them all  Slow-to-warm-up child shows fearfulness & constricted behaviour but not as many adjustment problems - Most influential model is Rothbart’s o Combines related traits proposed by Thomas & Chess but has only 6 dimensions  Distractibility and Attention Span/Persistence are at opposite ends o Unique feature is the inclusion of  Fearful distress  Irritable distress  Distinguish between reactivity & frustration o The model deletes the broad ones  Rhythmicity  Intensity of reaction  Threshold to responsiveness o These dimensions are supported by factor analyses o Her dimensions represent 3 underlying components  Emotion  Attention  Action o She believed that individuals didn’t only differ in reactivity but also in the self-regulatory dimension of temperament, effortful control – the capacity to voluntarily suppress a dominant response in order to plan & execute a more adaptive response (inhibition) Measuring Temperament - Often measured through interviews or questionnaires given to parents o Might be biased - Observation by researchers can also lead to inaccuracies o In home, have a hard time capturing all the information o In labs, children behave differently, but have better control over the children - Research has focues on children who fall at opposite extremes of the positive-affect & fearful-distress dimensions: o Inhibited, or shy children who react negatively to & withdrawal from novel stimuli o Uninhibited, or sociable children who display positive emotion to & approach novel stimuli  Biological reactivity (HR, hormone levels) differentiate these children Stability of Temperament - Temperament is stable in adulthood but stability is low during infancy & toddlerhood & only moderate in preschool o Not as stable because it develops with age o Between 2 ½ - 3 improve as prefrontal cortex is involved in suppressing impulses, but all depends - Many factors affect the extent to which a children’s temper remains stable (biological, effort control, success, intensity of reactivity) Genetic & Environmental Influences - Temperament implies genetic foundation for individual differences - Identical twins more common than fraternal o Heritability estimates a moderate connection (temperament & personality) - & higher for –ve emotions - Genetic influences vary with temperament trait & age of individual o Heredity role is higher in adulthood when temper becomes more stable - Genetics do affect temperament but so does environment o Persistent nutritional & emotional deprivation alters temperament resulting in maladaptive behaviour Cultural Variations - Compared to North America, Chinese & Japanese babies tend to be less active, irritable & vocal; more easily soothed when upset & better at quieting themselves o Chinese babies more fearful & inhibited, remaining closer to their mothers & display more st
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