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Chapter 4

Social Personality Chapter 4.docx

12 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3450
Karl Hennig

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Social Personality Chapter 4 An overview of emotions and emotional development - Emotion represents much more than a feeling - Emotions have several components 1. 2. changes in heart rate, galvanic skin response (that is sweat gland activity), brain wave activity, and so forth 3. 4. , approaching pleasant ones, influencing the behaviour of others, communicating needs or desires - Emotion: a motivational construct that is characterized by changes in affect, physiological responses, cognitions and overt behaviours Two theories of emotions and emotional development - Discrete emotions theory o A theory of emotions specifying that specific emotions are biologically programmed, accompanied by distinct sets of bodily and facial cues, and discriminable from early in life o Ex. makes sense that its inborn because babies show emotions of disgust and distress o Each emotion is accompanied by a particular set of facial and bodily reactions  Interest: brows raised, mouth may be rounded, lips may be pursed  Fear: mouth retracted, brows level and drawn up and in, eyelids lifted  Disgust: tongue protruding, upper lip raised, nose wrinkled  Joy: bright eyes, cheeks lifted, mouth forms a smile  Sadness: corners of mouth turned down, inner portion of brows raised  Anger: mouth squared at corners, brows drawn together and pointing down, eyes fixed straight ahead - Functionalist perspective o A theory specifying the major purpose of an emotion is to establish, maintain or change ones relationship with the environment to accomplish a goal, emotions are not viewed as discrete early in life but as entities that emerge with age o Involves children being able to control their emotions rather than expressing them freely Appearance and development of discrete emotions - Parents can usually tell positive emotions of the child by their facial expressions, but negative facial expressions are harder to pinpoint Sequencing of discrete emotions in the first year - At birth, babies show interest, distress, disgust and contentment - 2-7 months, primary (basic emotions emerge) , including anger, sadness, joy, surprise and fear - It is said that they emerge roughly the same time in all normal infants and displayed similarly in all cultures - Some learning needs to occur in order to express any emotion that is not present at birth - The primary emotions change considerably over time Development of a positive emotion: Happiness - Signs of happiness are shown in response to a full stomach or something soothing - End of second month = social smiles - Social smile: smile directed at people appears 6-10 weeks of age - At 3 months, babies are more likely to smile at people than puppets - 3-6 months, it increases - Infants get happy when they think they did something - 6-7 months babies begin to reserve their biggest smiles for familiar companions Develop of negative emotions - Angry emotions become increasingly intense by the middle of the first year - Infants may be saddened when they cannot seem to elicit a positive response from a caregiver - Ex. if a mother is chronically depressed, their baby will rub off on them and engage in depressive symptoms - When infants learn that they have control over things, when they lose something they are angry or saddened Fear and fearful reactions - One of the last primary emotions to emerge - Begins to appear at 6-7 months - Stranger anxiety: a wary or fretful reaction that infants and toddlers often display when approached by an unfamiliar person o Most infants react positively to strangers until they form their first emotional attachment o Stranger anxiety peaks at 8-10 months and gradually declines over the second year - Separation anxiety: a wary or fretful reaction that infants and toddlers often display when separated from people who are attached - Evolution theory o A fear or avoidance response has been biologically programmed - Cognitive developmental theory - Believes that stranger anxiety and separation anxiety are natural outgrowths or an infants perceptual and cognitive development - Jerome kagan suggests that 6-10 month olds have finally developed stable schemes for 1 the faces of familiar companion 2 these companions whereabouts if they are not present - 7-10 month old wont protest where an adult is if they are not close to them, they will assume that they are somewhere in the house Development of self-conscious emotions - Secondary (complex) emotions: self-conscious or self-evaluative emotions that emerge in the second and third years and depend in part on cognitive development (sometimes called self-conscious emotions - Lewis believes that embarrassment does not emerge until the child can recognize themselves in a mirror or a photograph - Self-evaluative emotions such as shame, guilt and pride require both self-recognition and an understanding of rules and standards for evaluating ones conduct - Evaluative embarrassment : nervous smiles, self-touching and gaze aversion when they fail to complete a task in the allotted time - Some investigators think that there are distinctions between shame and guilt o Guilt: implies that we have in some way failed to live up to our obligations to other people, more likely to focus on interpersonal consequences and may try to approach others to make reparations o Shame: more self-focused than based on a concern for others, more likely to avoid other people Parental influence on self-conscious emotions - The amount of pride and shame displayed largely depended on their mothers reactions to the outcomes - Mothers who were more inclined to react positively to successes have children who displayed more pride in their accomplishments and less shame on those occasions that they failed - Children are more inclined to feel ashamed if parents belittle them Later developments in emotional expressivity - Majority of emotions have appeared in the first few years of life - People who are developing become increasingly moody and show a dramatic increase in negative emotions as they reach sexual maturity (making the transition from childhood to adolescence), but it generally levels off by mid adolescence - Then becomes more positive again in early adulthood - Vast majority of teens are able to deal with this well, but around 15-20% of teens show depressive symptoms - Why does this happen? o Researchers say it has to do with hormones and sexual maturation - Girls are more susceptible than boys for two reasons o They have more stressful experiences with family members, peers and romantic partners o They react more negatively to these kinds of stresses Identifying and understanding others’ emotions - Understanding emotions is tenuous at best in infancy and toddlerhood but develops very rapidly during the preschool and grade school years Early identification and interpretation of emotions - Some research believes that young infants do understand and react appropriately to more natural displays of emotions o Ex. infants wont only understand their mother is happy, sad or angry, but they will react in a similar way to the way their mother is acting - At 7 months, it shows different patterns of brain wave activity to photos posing different emotions Social referencing - Defined as the use of others emotional expressions to gain information of infer the meaning of otherwise ambiguous situations - Becomes more obvious in ages 7-10 months - They actually reference their parents emotional reactions to uncertain situations and use this information to regulate their own behaviour - Comes with age, and soon extends to people other than parents Emotions, emotional understanding, and early social development - A baby’s display of emotion serve a communicative function that is likely to affect the behaviour of caregivers o Ex. babies who cry a lot will hinder a close companionship - Infants ability to recognize and interpret others emotion’s is an important achievement that enables him to infer how he should be feeling or behaving in a variety of situations o Ex. a siblings joyful reaction to the family dog should indicate that this ball of fur is a friend rather than a scary monster Later developments in identifying others’ emotions - Before age 3, children are bad at identifying and labeling the emotional expressions posed by people in pictures or on puppets faces - Between ages 3 and 5, children become better and better at correctly identifying the simple emotions on people - 3 year olds may think all positive emotions are happy, even when the expression is something like surprise - More complex emotions such as pride, shame, and guilt are not correctly labeled until the early to middle grade school years - Facial cues are not not the only information that children use to recognize others emotions o Ex. 5 year olds could tell from expressive movement which of the dancers were sad and 8 year olds were as skilled as adults correctly identifying all four emotions implied by the dancers Understanding the causes of emotions - Preschool and early grade school children show rapid advances in their ability to identify the emotions that other people are likely to feel in particular situations - Children find it easier to identify positive emotions than negative ones - Although, Richard Fabes found the opposite - Virtually everyone agrees that o Children learn a great deal about the causes of all primary emotions during the preschool period o It may be well into late elementary school or middle school before they are proficient at telling us the situations and circumstances likely to evoke pride, guilt, shame, envy, jealousy, and other complex emotions Other milestones of emotional understanding - 4 and 5 year olds know that a person’s current feelings may stem from reflections on past events -
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