PSY210 Ch.10 Emotional Dev..docx

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Justin Mc Neil

PSY210 Ch.10 Emotional Development 10/25/2012 2:41:00 PM Overview: 1. Functions of emotions 2. Development of emotional expression 3. Understanding & responding to the emotions of others 4. Temperament & development 5. Development of attachment 6. Attachment, parental employment & childcare 1. Functions of emotions  Emotion: is a rapid appraisal of the personal significance of the situation, which prepares you for action. o “how personally significant is the situation?”  Action  E.g. Happiness leads you to approach.  E.g. Sadness to passively withdraw  E.g. Fear to actively move away  E.g. Anger to overcome obstacles  An emotion then, expresses your readiness to establish, maintain, or change your relation to the environment on a matter of importance to you.  Functionalist approach to emotion: emphasizes that the broad function of emotions is to energize behaviour aimed at attaining personal goals o Emotions & cognitive processing  Emotional reactions = learning = SURVIVAL  Emotions can also powerfully affect memory. (Fearful events = more anxiety = remembered better)  The relationship between emotion and cognition is bidirectional.  Ex. Children & string pulling for happy stimuli  stimuli turned off after a while  children’s emotions changed  some angry, some sad.  Once the happy stimuli was restored… o Children who reacted angrily were interested again o Children who reacted sadly, turned away. o Emotions & social behaviour  Children’s emotions affect the behaviour of others. Similarly, the emotional reactions of others regulate children’s social behaviour.  By 3 months, a complex communication system is in place between caregiver/infant interaction, in which each partner responds in an appropriate and carefully times fashion to the other’s cues.  Cross cultural built in withdrawal response to caregivers’ lack of communication  (when caregiver gives a different response, such as a blank still-face, than what the baby is accustomed to…e.g. depressed caregiver)  With age, emotional expressions become deliberate means through which infants communicate, and babies monitor the emotional expressions of others to assess their intentions and perspectives.  By 9 months: infant become initiators – smiling before the caregiver smiles.  By 1 year: Babies become more skilled at joint attention – following the caregivers line of regard.  Social referencing: Babies check their caregivers expression for how they are to respond to new stimuli. o Emotions & health  Emotions influence children’s physical well-being.  E.g.1. Stress & sickness cycle  E.g.2. Orphans in orphanage for longer than other children adopted sooner… 2 outcomes:  A. Emotionally deprived children  Stress  HIGH concentrations of cortisol  o = Persistent illness and learning and behaviour problems, deficits in concentration and control of anger and other impulses.  B. Emotionally deprived children  Stress  Abnormally LOW cortisol  blunted physiological stress response (adaptation to earlier, frequent cortisol elevation)  o = Low cortisol interferes with release of growth hormone (GH), and thus can stunt children’s physical growth.  Sensitive adult care helps normalize cortisol production in both typically developing as well as emotionally traumatized infants. o Other features of the functionalist approach  Self-awareness: Emotions contribute to the emergence of self-awareness  Sense of self-efficacy: confidence in a child’s own ability to control events in their surroundings (e.g. by acting on a novel object)  Self-conscious emotions: Expressions of pride and embarrassment, which have to do with evaluating the self’s goodness/badness in relation to standards for morality/social behaviour/task mastery.  Emotional self-regulation: Children must gain control over their emotions as they get older. 2. Development of emotional expression  Analyzing infant’s facial patterns carefully to determine the range of emotions they display at different ages.  In line with dynamic systems perspective – emotional expressions vary with the person’s developing capacities, goals and context.  Basic emotions o Basic emotions: Happiness, interest, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, disgust – are universal in humans and other primates and have a long evolutionary history of promoting survival.  Babies & Happiness, anger, sadness, and fear. o Happiness  Child’s happiness encourages caregivers to be affectionate and stimulating, which makes the baby smile even more.  Babies smile when full, during REM sleep, and in response to gentle touches and mothers voice.  Between 6-10 weeks, the parent’s communication evokes a broad grin called the social smile  After 1 year – smile becomes a deliberate social signal used by the baby.  Between 3-4 months, laughter appears, and reflects faster processing of information than smiling. o Anger & Sadness  Distress response to unpleasant experiences (hunger, pain, change in body temperature, too much/little stimulation) nd  From 4-6 months into the 2 year, angry expressions increase in frequency and intensity.  Angry reactions increase with age, as infants become capable of intentional behaviour and want to control their own actions and the effects they produce. They will purposefully try to change an undesirable situation.  Sadness occurs when infants are deprived of a familiar, loving caregiver or when caregiver-infant communication is seriously disrupted (e.g. A mother becoming more depressed) o Fear  Like anger, fear rises from 4-6 months into the 2 nd year.  The most frequent expression of fear is to unfamiliar adults – a response called stranger anxiety.  Reaction to strangers depends on the child’s:  Temperament  Past experiences with strangers  The current situation  Stranger’s style of interaction  Rise in fear after 6 months keeps newly mobile babies’ enthusiasm for exploration in check. Once wariness develops, infants use the familiar caregiver as a secure base, or point from which to explore, venturing into the environment and then returning for emotional support.  Encounters with strangers lead to 2 conflicting tendencies which the infant’s behaviour is balanced between:  1. Approach (interest, friendliness)  2. Avoidance (fear).  Fear wanes as cognitive development permits toddlers to discriminate more effectively between threatening and nonthreatening people and situations.  Self-conscious emotions o Humans are capable of a second, higher-order set of feelings…self-conscious emotions including guilt, shame, embarrassment, envy and pride.  These are called self-conscious emotions as each involves injury to or enhancement of our sense of self.  Between 18-24 months infants become firmly aware of the self as a separate, unique individual. nd  Self-conscious emotions appear in the middle of the 2 year.  Envy emerges by age 3.  Self-conscious emotions are made of 2 ingredients  Self-awareness  Learned response = Adult instruction in when to feel proud, ashamed, guilty. o Emotional self-regulation  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.  Done by: Attention focusing/shifting, inhibiting thoughts/behaviour, planning, actively relieving stress.  It requires effortful control and management of emotions, which improves with the development of the prefrontal cortex and the assistance of caregivers.  Infancy  Limited capacity to regulate their emotional states. Easily overwhelmed. Depend entirely on the comfort of caregivers for distraction and reorienting of attention.  Between 2-4 months  = prefrontal cortex increases capacity to tolerate stimulation.  Between 4-6 months  = the ability to shift attention and engage in self-soothing helps infants control emotion.  End of 1 year  = crawling & walking enable infants to regulate emotion more effectively by approaching/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 who has a reduced capacity for managing emotional problems. nd  In the 2 year  = gains in representation & language allow for new ways in regulating emotion.  Patient, sensitive parents encourage toddlers to describe their internal states.  So when 2 year old feels distressed, they can guide adults into helping them.  Early childhood nd  After the 2 year  = Children talk a lot more about feelings.  By age 3-4  = Preschoolers verbalize a variety of emotional self-regulation strategies.  Blunting emotions by restricting sensory input (covering eyes/ears in scary movie)  Talking to themselves (“Mama will be back soon she said”  Changing their goals (deciding they don’t want to play anymore, after being excluded)  Middle childhood & adolescence  = rapid gains in emotional, self-regulation occur after school entry, as emotion regulation strategies become more varied, sophisticated and flexible.  Between ages 6-8  Children become more aware of the difference between feeling an emotion and expressing it.  Mental level of emotional self- communication emerges and helps children reflect on their emotions, and therefore, manage them.  By age 10  = Most children shift adaptively between two general strategies for managing emotion. o Problem-centered coping: they appraise the situation as changeable, identify the difficulty, and decide what to do about it. o Emotion-centered coping: Which is internal, private, and aimed at controlling distress when little can be done about an outcome (used if problem-centered coping didn’t work).  Good development of emotional self- regulation = a sense of emotional self- efficacy. (the feeling of being in control of ones emotional experience). o Acquiring emotional display rules  All societies have emotional display rules that specify when, where, and how it is appropriate to express emotions.  Parents encourage infants to suppress negative emotion by often imitating their expressions of interest (happiness/surprise) but rarely imitating their expressions of anger & sadness.  For baby boys especially, in part because boys have a harder time regulating negative emotions.  Social pressures for boys to appear less emotional  Social pressures to foster harmonious relationships, by teaching children to communicate positive feelings and inhibit unpleasant emotional displays.  Collectivist vs. individualistic cultural differences. 3. Understanding & responding to the emotions of others  Some researchers claim that young babies respond in kind to others emotions through built in, automatic process of “emotional contagion”. (NATURE)  Others however, believe that infants acquire these emotional contingencies through operant conditioning – e.g. learning that a smile generally triggers caregiver responsiveness and that distress prompts a comforting response. (NURTURE) o By 3 months: infants can match the emotion in a voice with the appropriate face of a speaking person. They become sensitive to the structure and timing of face-to-face interactions. o By 5 months: infants perceive facial expressions as organized patterns (meaningful wholes), and they can match the emotion in a voice with the appropriate face of a speaking person. o Between 7-12 months: ERP’s recorded while infants attend to facial expressions reveal reorganized brain wave patterns resembling those of adults, suggesting enhanced processing of emotional cues.  Once these understandings are in place, infants actively seek emotional information from trusted caregivers.  Social referencing o Relying on another persons emotional reaction to appraise an uncertain situation. o Caregivers emotional expression & tone of voice in reaction to a novel object/event influences the child’s reaction. o Social referencing allows toddlers to compare their own and others assessments of events. o In social referencing, toddlers move beyond simply reacting to others emotional messages. They use those signals to evaluate the safety and security of their surroundings, to guide their own actions, and to gather information about others intentions and preferences. o Emotional understanding in childhood  Cognitive development & emotional understanding  Children refer to causes, consequences and behavioral signs of emotion, and over time their understanding becomes more accurate and complex.  Age 4-5 = Child can judge the causes of many basic emotions. They emphasize external factors over internal states, a balance that changes with age.  They realize both desires and beliefs motivate behaviour.  THEN they learn how internal factors can trigger emotion.  Can anticipate the intentions and actions of others  Older children agree that an event can spark mixed emotions, each of which may be positive or negative and may differ in intensity. But a preschooler will deny that two emotions can occur at once, as they do not integrate 2 variables (like Piaget & conservation task)  Metacognition (thinking about thought) encourages gains in thinking about emotion in middle childhood.  Social experience & emotional understanding  Parents who encourage expression and discussion about emotion will have children who are better developed in their emotional understanding.  The use of scaffolding (Vygotsky) to increase emotional awareness and understanding in children by the caregiver  Make-believe play as a context for early learning about emotions with others.  Knowledge about emotions help children to get along with others by acknowledging others emotions and explaining their own.  Empathy & sympathy o Empathy involves a complex interaction of cognition and affect: the ability to detect different emotions, to take another’s emotional perspective and to feel with that person, or respond emotionally in a similar way.  Empathy as a motivator of prosocial/altruistic behaviour – actions that benefit another person without any expected reward for the self. o Sympathy – feelings of concern or sorrow for another’s plight. o Development of empathy  GLOBAL EMPATHY: Newborn babies cry in response to the cry of another baby  Matching of others emotional expressions  EGOCENTRIC EMPATHY: Like self-conscious emotions, empathy requires children to understand that the self is distinct from other people.  EMPATHY FOR ANOTHERS FEELINGS: Affective perspective taking: older toddlers can infer how another feels by imagining themselves in that persons place.  EMAPTHY FOR ANOTHERS LIFE CONDITIONS: others feel because of immediate situation + life conditions. Empathy for entire groups of people. = more perspective taking + more abstract o Individual differences  Temperament affects whether empathy occurs and whether it prompts sympathetic, prosocial behaviour or a personally distressed, self-focused response.  Twin studies = empathy is moderately heritable  Parental modeling important for helping children to be more sympathetic  Sociable children:  who are good at regulating emotion are more empathetic.  EEG brain wave activity - mild increase in the left hemisphere (which houses positive emotion)  Aggressive children:  show high hostility, and many negative feelings which contribute towards a weakened ability to empathize.  EEG increase in the right hemisphere (which houses negative emotion) = they are overwhelmed by negative emotion when viewing a person in distress. Little empathy disp
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