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PSYC 2450 (267)
Chapter 12


5 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

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Chapter 12  Emotional Development o Displaying emotions: The development (and control) of emotional expressions  Easier to tell infant positive emotions than negative emotions  Sequencing of discrete emotions  Birth: interest, distress, and contentment  2 months: social smiles  2-7 months: basic emotions (biologically programmed) of anger, sadness, joy, surprise, and fear  2 years: complex emotions (depend on cognitive development) of embarrassment, shame, guilt, envy, and pride; develop after children achieve self-recognition and self-evaluation  Elementary school: experience more complex emotions in more routine environments and in the absence of external evaluation  Puberty: sometimes experience general negative trend in everyday mood  Socialization of emotions and emotional self-regulation  Emotional display rules: culturally defined rules specifying which emotions should or should not be expressed under which circumstances o Start learning this as an infant o Parents model positive emotions, attend carefully to their infants’ pleasant feelings, and are less responsive to infants’ negative emotional displays  Emotional self-regulation: strategies for managing emotions or adjusting emotional arousal to an appropriate level of intensity o Begins by the end of the first year o Develops very slowly  Toddlers move gradually from being dependent on others to regulate their emotions to being able to regulate emotions on their own  Elementary school children gradually become able to comply with culturally defined emotional display rules o Recognizing and interpreting emotions  Social referencing: the use of others’ emotional expressions to infer the meaning of otherwise ambiguous situations  Develops by 8-10 months  Empathy: the ability to experience the same emotions that someone else is experiencing  Improves throughout childhood, aided by cognitive development and conversations about emotions and their causes  Helps children infer how to feel, think, or behave in uncertain situations  Infants’ and children’s emotional displays promote social contact with caregivers  Temperament and Development o Temperament: a person’s characteristicmodes of responding emotionally and behaviourally to environmental events  Fearful distress  Irritable distress  Positive affect  Activity level  Attention span/persistence  Rhythmicity o Hereditary and environmental influences on temperament  Hereditary  Heritability coefficients are moderate at best  Genetically influenced  Environmental  Positive attributes are influenced  Negative attributes depend on nonshared environmental influences  Cultural  Temperaments vary o Stability of temperament  Activity level, irritability, sociability, and behavioural inhibition (tendency to withdraw from unfamiliar people or situations) are moderately stable  Can be influenced by environment (i.e. overprotection by caregiver) o Early temperamental profiles and later development 1. Easy temperament (40%): even-tempered, typically in a positive mood, and quite open and adaptable to new experiences; habits are regular and predictable 2. Difficult temperament (10%): active, irritable, and irregular in their habits; often react very vigorously to changes in routine and are very slow to adapt to new persons or situations 3. Slow-to-warm-up temperament (15%): quite inactive, somewhat moody, and can be slow to adapt to new persons and situations; typically respond to novelty in mildly negative ways  Children with difficult and slow-to-warm-up temperaments are at greater risk of experiencing adjustment problems, depending on the goodness-of-fit between parenting and temperamental attributes  Development is likely to be optimized when parents’ child-rearing practices are sensitively adapted to the child’s temperamental characteristics  Attachment and Development o Attachment: a close emotional relationship between two persons, characterized by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity o Infants form affectional ties to their caregivers during the first year of life: reciprocal relationships o Parents’ initial bonding with their infant builds in strength as they gear their behaviour to the infant’s social signals and establish synchronized routines (generally harmonious interactions between two persons in which participants adjust their behaviour in response to the partner’s feelings and behaviours o How do infants become attached?  The growth of primary attachments  The asocial phase (0-6 weeks): infants respond in an equally favourable way to interesting social and non-social stimuli  The phase of indiscriminate attachment (6 weeks to 6-7 months): infants prefer social to non-social stimulation and are likely to protest whenever any adult puts them down or leaves them alone  The specific attachment phase (7-9 months): infants are attached to one close companion (usually the mother)  The phase of multiple attachments (9-18 months): use of a caregiver as a base
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