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Chapter 4

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3450
Karl Hennig

Chapter 4 - Emotional Development and Temperament An Overview of Emotions and Emotional Development -Emotions have several components  Feelings (generally positive or negative)  Physiological correlates (ex. Changing in heart rate, skin response, brain wave activity)  Cognitions that elicit or accompany feelings & physiological changes  Goals or desires (ex. Escaping noxious stimuli or approaching pleasant ones Two theories of Emotions and Emotional Development -Discrete Emotions theory:  Has strong evolutionary undertones  A theory of emotions that specifying that specific emotions are biologically programmed, accompanied by distinct sets of bodily and facial cues, and discriminate from early in life  Charles Darwin proposed back in 1872 that most basic emotions that human display are products of our evolutionary history that have some adaptive value  Modern proponents of discrete emotions theory continue to argue that many basic emotions are inborn products of our evolutionary history  Each discrete emotions like sadness vs anger, has its own particular set of facial and body reactions -Functionalist Perspective  Believe that newborns and very young infants do not display discrete emotions  Their emotional lives consist of global experiences of either positivity (excitement) or negativity (distress)  Propose that the most basic purpose of emotion is to influence behavior and promote some action toward achieving a goal  Emphasis environmental influences on emotional development  Ex. When a baby receives a needle and cries, they don’t understand until months of social interaction later that someone was causing them harm.  Emphasis for successful adaption to their environments often requires children to control their emotions rather than expressing them freely -Appearance and Development of Discrete Emotions  Carroll Izard & Colleagues at University of Delaware have studied infants emotional expressions by videotyping babies responses to events such as grasping an ice cube, taking a toy away, or seeing mothers return after leaving.  The raters were unaware of what the infants were experiencing, Izard asked them to tell him what emotions the infants were experiencing from their facial expressions they display  The studies revealed that different adult raters observing the same expressions reliably see the same emotion on the infants face  Infants respond in predictable ways to particular kinds of experience (ex. Soft sounds and smiles or painful stimuli with elicit distress)  Most researchers agree that babies communicate a variety of feeling through their facial and vocal expressions and they become more recognizable with age -Sequencing of Discrete Emotions in the First Year  Birth Facial Expressions: interest, distress, disgust and contentment. (Primary emotions: present at birth or emerging early in the first year, some theorist believed to be biologically programmed)  2 to 7 months: anger, sadness, joy, surprise and fear  Some learning maybe necessary before babies will express emotions not present at birth such  Strongest elicitors of surprise and joy at 2 to 8 months is infants realizing the exert some control over objects and events -Development of a Positive Emotion: Happiness  Babies first sign of happiness are the rudimentary smiles they show primarily in response to a full stomach or to soothing stimuli  Often occur when a baby is sleeping, and thought to be reflexive responses attributable more to changes in biological state (tension release) than to social stimuli or social interaction  At the end of the second month babies begin to display social smiles that are most often seen in interactions with caregivers who are likely to be delighted at a babies positive reaction to them  By 3 months babies more likely to smile at real people than at other interesting and animated puppets  Between 3 and 6 months babies increasingly display raised-check and open-mouth smiles while gazing or interacting pleasantly with a smiling caregiver  Even young infants are likely to smile and laugh when they operate and control toys or inanimate aspects of their environment  One study tied strings to the infants arms, the experimental group caused music to play whenever they moved their arms, the control group heard the same music at set intervals not when moving their arms. The results were striking , infants who caused the music to play smiled more as the music played then the control group. What made them so happy was the control they had over the music  At 6 to 7 months infants reserve their biggest smiles for familiar companions, and may seem wary rather than happy to encounter a person they don’t know -Development of Negative Emotions  Other than the general negative emotions such as distress to hunger and pain particular negative emotions begin to appear over the first 6 months  Red face anger is sometimes seen in the faces of 2 month olds who receive painful inoculations or who cannot exert control over toy or other events  Sadness shows a similar trend, 2 to 6 month old become sullen in the same situations that elicit angry displays, such as when the caregiver is giving the infant a still face  Babies can also match their caregivers depressive symptoms  As young infants increasingly recognize that they can exert control over options and people in their environment they begin to react negatively to loss of control or to people thwarting their objectives -Fear and Fearful Reactions  Fear is on of the last primary emotions to emerge  Reactions that clearly indicate that an infant considers a person, object or situation to be distinct threat begin to appear at 6 to 7 months of age  There are two particular fears that appear between 7 to 8 months: stranger anxiety, this peaks at 8 to 10 months then gradually declines in intensity. This doesn’t mean that they are anxious around every stranger they see  The second is separation anxiety, generally appears around 6-8 months and peaks at 14-18 months of age. It gradually becomes less frequent during infancy and preschool period  Evolutionary theorists claim that in many situations that infants face qualify as natural clues to danger, as they continue to face these situations it becomes biologically programmed to avoid it  Infants can readily discriminate familiar objects and events from unfamiliar ones  Infants from nonindustrialized societies begin to protest separation about two or three months earlier than Western infants do because they are rarely apart from their caregivers  Cognitive-developmental theorists view stranger anxiety and separation anxiety as natural outgrowths of an infant’s perceptual and cognitive development. Kagan suggests that 6 to 10 months have finally developed stable schemes for: faces of familiar companions and these companions probable whereabouts at home  Kagan propose that 7 to 10 months will not protest most separations at home because they have a pretty good idea where a caregiver has gone -Development of Self-Conscious Emotions  Secondary Emotions: Embarrassment, shame, guilt, envy and pride  Often called self-conscious emotions because each involves some damage to or enhancement of the sense of self  Michael Lewis believes that embarrassment will not emerge until the child can recognize herself in the mirror or photograph  By age 3 children, are better able to evaluate their performances as good or bad, they begin to show signs of pride they succeed at a difficult task  Preschool children may show evaluative embarrassment such as nervous smiles, self touching, and gaze aversion when they fail to complete a task in the allotted task  Lewis & Ramsy (2002) reported preschoolers who experienced embarrassment do not slump, etc as children usually do, in fact they typically evaluate embarrassment or shame but not both  A child who feels guilt, is likely to focus on interpersonal consequence of his wrongdoing and may try to approach others to make reparations -Parental Influence on Self-Conscious Emotions  Parents can clearly influence a child’s susceptibility to particular self-conscious emotions  Parents reaction to certain projects good or bad can reflect on the child  How parents react to transgressions may determine whether children feel guilty or shameful  Toddlers and preschoolers are more likely to display self-evaluative emotions when parents are present -Later Developments in Emotional Expressivity  What changes dramatically in childhood are the situations or events that trigger them  A common assumption that developing persons become increasingly moody and show a dramatic increase in negative emotions as they reach sexual maturity and make the transition to adulthood  Some evidence of daily experience of emotion becomes some what more negative and less positive from late adolescence  However this trend tends to leveled of by mid adolescence and becomes more positive again in early adulthood and beyond  Physiological and hormonal changes that accompany sexual maturation may contribute something to increased moodiness and restlessness
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