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Chapter 6

PSY210 textbook notes chapter 6

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Elizabeth Johnson

[LECTURE 4] CHAPTER 6:  EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT  AND ATTACHMENT EARLY EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT I. emotions a. subjective reactions to something in the environment b. usually experienced cognitively as either pleasant or pleasant c. generally accompanied by physiological changes d. often expressed in some form of visible behaviour WHY ARE EMOTIONS IMPORTANT? I. A means of letting others know how we feel II. Success in communicating our emotions and in learning to interpret other people’s emotions is linked with our social success III. Linked to children’s mental and physical health a. Children who become excessively sad and despondent may develop problems like poor concentration and withdrawal from social interaction with others b. Self-worth may deteriorate c. Problems with management of stress and anxiety due to being reared in an emotionally and socially deprived environment i. Heightened levels of cortisol (biological marker of stress response) ii. May lead to problems of physical health PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EMOTIONS I. Primary emotions a. Fear, joy, disgust, surprise, sadness, interest…. b. Emerge early in life and don’t require introspection or self-reflection II. Secondary or ‘self-conscious’ emotions a. Pride, shame, guilt, jealousy, embarrassment…. b. Emerge later in dev c. Depend on our sense of self and our awareness of others’ reactions to our actions PERSPECTIVES ON EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT T HE  GENETIC ­M ATURATIONAL  P ERSPECTIVE I. Emotions are best seen as products of biological factors a. Indiv difs in temperament play a central role in how intensely children react to emotionally arousing situations and how well they can regulate their reactions b. Right and left brain hemispheres control joy and fear expressions respectively II. Twin studies a. Identical twins show greater similarity than fraternal twins in earliest times of first smiles and amount of smiling b. Identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins in their fear reactions to strangers and their general degree of inhibitedness T HE  LEARNING  PERSPECTIVE I. Useful in explaining indiv difs in emotional expression II. Dif emotional expressions have dif onsets, frequencies, and intensities in dif children a. Frequency with which children smile and laugh seem to vary depending on the environment in which they’re raised b. Parents can reward or punish certain emotional expressions c. When adults respond to a baby’s smile with positive stimulation, the child’s rate of smiling increases III. Learning experiences can also elicit and reinforce fear responses a. Ex. child can become classically conditioned to fear a doctor who gave him a painful shot b. May learn fears through operant conditioning when one of their own behavs (ex. climbing a ladder) is followed by a punishing consequence (a fall) c. Can learn fears by observing others (ex. watch mother react fearfully to a dog) T HE  FUNCTIONALIST  PERSPECTIVE I. Contemporary approach to emotional development II. Emotions serve to help us achieve our goals and adapt to our environment III. Establishing and maintaining social relationships, regulating emotional perceptions and expressions IV. Assumes that the purpose of emotion is to help us achieve our goals a. Goals arouse emotions (ex. joy arises as we anticipate forming a friendship) b. The aroused emotions help us reach our goals V. Recognizes the social nature of emotions a. We use info provided by others’ emotional signals to guide our own behaviour b. Evaluate situation and use feedback as guide c. Ex. If potential friend responds positively you’ll be happy and carry on VI. Memories of the past serve as a guide in shaping how the child will respond emotionally to a situation a. Ex. children who have been socially successful will be more confident THE DEVELOPMENT OF EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS I. Relying on the judgment of the mothers in regard to how often their infant expresses a certain emotion may not be the best way to approach the issue II. Researchers can distinguish among infants’ expressions of emotions by means of coding systems that pay attention to changes in a baby’s expression and bodily movements III. Systems assign finely differentiated scores to dif parts of the face DEVELOPMENT OF PRIMARY EMOTIONS POSITIVE PRIMARY EMOTIONS: SMILING AND LAUGHTER I. You can see smiles even in newborn infants II. Reflex or simple smiles a. Usually spontaneous b. Appear to depend on the infant’s internal state i. Change in infant’s level of arousal rather than an external stimulus such as someone’s behaviour c. Adaptive value for the baby i. caregivers interpret them as signs of pleasure and are encouraged to give attention to the baby III. b/w 3 and 8 weeks of age, infants begin to smile in response to external elicitors a. social stimuli like faces, voices, touches b. particularly interested in people and faces, as well as hitch-pitched human voices IV. smile at dif aspects of face as they grow older a. 4 week old – focus on eyes b. 8/9 week old – focus on mouth and finally the entire face and facial expression c. 3 months – smile more selectively at familiar faces V. Duchenne smiles a. Named after Guillaume Duchenne who noticed the pattern b. Smiles that involve not just an upturned mouth but also wrinkles around the eyes c. 10 month olds reserve these smiles for their mothers VI. The display smile a. Combination of Duchenne smile and a jaw drop b. During games where there has been a build-up of excitement VII. Indiv difs in amount of smiling a. Result of social responsiveness of the baby’s environment b. Gender related to smiling – girls show more spontaneous smiles than boys do in the newborn period and in adolescence i. Parents expect more emotions from girls ii. Perhaps girls are better prepared for social interaction b/c smiling more draws others to them VIII. Laughing a. Infants become skilled at 4 months b. Important role in caregiver-infant interaction c. Up to 7 months, likely to laugh at visual, tactile, and social events but auditory stimulation is stable d. From 7 months on, social and tactile stimuli are less effective but visual continues to increase st e. Toward the end of 1 year, respond more to social games, visual displays and other activities in which they can participate st f. By the end of 1 year, smile and laugh more in response to activities that they create themselves (ex. standing up) g. As they grow older, laughing increases and most occurs in the presence of other people NEGATIVE PRIMARY EMOTIONS: FEAR, ANGER, AND SADNESS I. Negative emotional response called fear of strangers evolves more slowly than positive emotional expression II. 2 phases in the emergence of fear – wariness and fear a. At 3 months, infants show wariness i. Respond with distress to an event that includes both familiar and unfamiliar aspects and therefore one they can’t comprehend and assimilate b. 7-9 months, babies show true fear i. Immediate reaction to an event that has specific meaning to them c. At 4 months, smile less at unfamiliar adults than their mothers i. Early signs that they recognize familiar people ii. Not yet distressed by presence of strangers d. 5 months – give stranger a sober stare e. 6 months – can display distress i. Distress reaction gradually increases in frequency III. Stranger distress or fear of strangers a. Used to be thought of as a developmental milestone that’s inevitable and universal (it’s actually neither) b. Emerges at 7-9 months in several cultures c. babies in cultures that emphasize shared caregiving among relative babies show little fear IV. whether a baby is fearful or not depends on many variables a. who the stranger is, how they behave, the setting, the child’s age b. contextual factors help determine the way an infant will react to a stranger i. when in own homes show less stranger fear than when meeting them in unfamiliar settings ii. rarely show fear when sitting on mother’s laps iii. respond positively when see mother responding positively 1. social referencing: process of ‘reading’ emotional cues in others to help determine how to act in an uncertain situation iv. amount of control the baby has 1. ex. less fearful of a noisy toy if can control the noise v. characteristic of stranger 1. babies less fearful of children than adults – size less important than face (babies more fearful of adult midget than a child) 2. behaviour of stranger – show less fear towards active stranger who talks, gestures, smiles, and offers toys V. universal fears (common fears present in all cultures) a. being separated from mother or familiar caregiver (separation protest) i. peaks at 15 months A NGER  AND  S ADNESS I. not always sure what facial expressions mean a. what looks like anger in a baby could be a generalized state of distress II. Carroll Izard – pioneer in study of infant emotion a. Holds that newborns do express specific emotions b. First neg emotions to appear are startle, disgust, distress c. Not until babies are 2.5-3 months do they begin to display anger, interest, surprise and sadness III. Usually display anger in response to particular external event a. Respond to emotional provocations in predictable ways at specific ages b. Anger elicited by pain and frustration c. 2 months = respond w/ distress d. 6 months – respond w/ anger IV. Sadness – reaction to pain, hunger, lack of control a. Occurs less than anger b. Babies become sad when there are breakdowns in parent-infant communication (ex. when caregiver doesn’t respond) c. Older babies become sad when separated from caregiver DEVELOPMENT OF SECONDARY EMOTIONS MORE COMPLEX EMOTIONS: PRIDE, SHAME, GUILT, AND JEALOUSY I. Begin to emerge toward the middle of the second year of life II. Children may show embarrassment by blushing and turning away III. Express envy or jealousy by pouting IV. Show pride when pleased w/ accomplishments and shame when perceives that someone finds them deficient V. Feeling of guilt requires the development of the sense of personal responsibility and internalization of some moral standard – emerges later than pride and shame P RIDE  AND  SHAME I. Crucial to distinguishing experience of pride and shame is emerging sense of the differences b/w easy/difficult and success/failure II. By 3 years old, children learned that they were more likely to feel pride if succeeded at dif tasks rather than easy ones III. Expressed more shame if failed an easy task than a difficult one IV. Understanding of pride depends on ability to entertain multiple emotions and sense of agency/effort a. Pride at doing task well b. Happiness that others appreciate accomplishment G UILT I. Understanding of guilt emerges in middle school II. Only older children understood the relation of guilt to personal responsibility a. Ex. feeling guilty b/c you did something by accident vs. feeling guilty b/c you didn’t do something due to laziness b. Older children understand that unless they themselves caused the outcome they don’t need to feel guilty JEALOUSY I. Can occur as early as 1 year of age II. The way children express jealousy changes across development a. Younger children display distress b. Older show sadness and anger III. Jealousy is costly a. Less able to focus on activities than children who show less jealousy IV. Experience and expression of jealousy depends on nature of relationship in which the emotion arises a. Secure and trusting relationship w/ caregivers – jealousy b/w siblings less prevalent b. Close relationships b/w parents themselves (like having a positive marriage) serve as a protective factor in buffering children from jealous reactions INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN EMOTIONS I. More sociable babies show less wariness in encounters with strangers II. Some babies smile more readily and heartily III. Some babies are more easily angered IV. Ricard and Gouin Decarie study (1993) a. Had infants confront unfamiliar object and a stranger w/ their mother nearby b. ‘bold’ infant group i. Approached both object and stranger c. ‘shy’ infant group i. Approached only object V. Kagan (1998) a. Identified subset of children called ‘behaviourally inhibited’ b. Tended to be shy, fearful, introverted, avoided peers, became more anxious and upset by mildly stressful situations c. Showed atypical physiological reactions (rapid heart rates) in stressful situations d. Fearful responses and shyness endured across time e. Warm and supportive parents can reduce fearfulness VI. Difs in pos and neg emotionality are related to children’s adjustment a. Emotionally negative (fearfulness, irritability) = more likely to have adjustment difficulties (were depressed and had conduct problems) b. Emotionally positive (high smiling and laughing) = high self-esteem and social competence (better adjustment) RECOGNIZING EMOTIONS IN OTHERS I. Mother-infant face-to-face interactions a. Babies develop ability to recognize pos emotions (Ex. joy) earlier than they can recognize neg emotions (ex. anger) b. Recognizing joy earlier has functional value for a baby i. Provide rewarding and self-enhancing experiences for the infant ii. Strengthen mother-infant bond c. Recognizing anger not adaptive yet i. Threat of an anger expression would call for coping responses that are beyond the capacity of a 6 month old d. Nature of early experience alters children’s ability to recognize emotions (learning perspective) i. 3.5 month old infants recognize mother’s emotional expressions earlier than those of other people ii. More successful at recognizing mother’s emotional expressions when mothers spent more time interacting directly with their babies iii. Abused children who experience high levels of threat and hostility can identify anger expressions more easily but are less capable of detecting sadness e. Culture i. China and Mexico – value group harmony; focus on others’ feelings 1. Chinese and Mexican children better at recognizing vocal and facial emotional expressions than Euro-American or Australian children f. Probably harder for babies to learn to recognize expressions of emotions in others than it is for them to learn to express emotions themselves i. Everyone around the world has the same emotional expressions, suggesting that producing facial expressions is at least in part genetically determined ii. Explains why both babies and children are more accurate at producing expressions than interpreting them iii. Skills improve with age EMOTIONAL REGULATION AND EMOTIONAL DISPLAY RULES I. As children grow older, they learn various strategies for emotional regulation a. parents start to require them to exert more control over their emotional expression II. emotional expressions become less frequent, less variable and more conventionalized, less distinct, less intense and exaggerated a. ex. a hungry baby may cry in uncontrollable frustration while older children will pout and complain III. emotional regulation abilities are important predictors of later adjustment a. children who were able to distract themselves by shifting attention away from frustrating situations were less aggressive and disruptive in kindergarten IV. children begin to learn emotional display rules (rules that dictate which emotions one may appropriately display in particular situations) a. 8-10 year olds learn to follow social norms i. Learn to smile even when unhappy, feign distress not really felt, or mask amusement when shouldn’t laugh V. Culture plays an important role in how children appraise situations a. Asked children of several cultures hypothetical questions, ex. ‘how would you feel if someone spilled a drink on your homework?’ i. Tamang society in rural Nepal (Buddhist group who endorse interpersonal harmony) – children more likely to respond to difficult situations with shame ii. Brahman society in rural Nepal (teaches self control in social interactions and control of emotions) – children didn’t reveal anger or shame in response to an upsetting problem iii. American children (taught self assertion) – displayed anger more often, less accepting of difficult situations HOW CHILDREN THINK ABOUT EMOTIONS MATCHING EMOTIONS TO SITUATIONS: EMOTIONAL SCRIPTS I. Emotional scripts: complex scheme that enables a child to identify the emotional reaction that is likely to accompany a particular sort of event II. Borke study a. Told 3 and 4 year olds stories about ex. getting lost in the woods b. Asked them to tell her the emotions they thought the characters in the stories would feel c. Children easily identified situations leading to happiness, reasonably good at identifying sadness or anger III. Scripts gain in complexity as children mature a. 5 year olds only understand situations that have a recognizable facial display or that lead to a particular kind of behav (ex. sadness = crying) b. After 7, can describe complicated emotions without obvious facial displays (pride, guilt) c. 10-14, can describe situations that elicit relief and disappointment MULTIPLE EMOTIONS, MULTIPLE CAUSES I. Awareness that one can have more feeling at a time or experience conflicting feelings that the same time II. 4-6 – conceive of only one emotion at a time III. 6-8 – begin to conceive of two emotions of the same type occurring simultaneously (ex. I was happy and proud) IV. Children are not able to conceive of opposite feelings existing simultaneously until 10 years old V. Realize that people’s emotional expressions are produced by inner states and not responsive solely to the characteristics of the situation a. Ex. young children get angry when someone frustrates them regardless of whether it was intentional b. Children 7 years old and older tend to reserve anger for situations in which they think a person intended to upset them THE FAMILY'S ROLE IN EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT I. Suzanne Denham outlined 3 ways in which families influence children’s emotions a. Family members’ own patterns of emotional expressiveness serve as models for the child i. Many studies have shown similarities b/w parents and children in both level of emotional expressiveness and types of emotions typically displayed ii. Children who have been abused by parents are more likely to exude shame and less likely to show pride b. Parents’ and siblings’ specific reactions to children’s emotions encourage or discourage certain expressions i. Help children regulate own emotions c. Parents often act as emotional coaches by talking about emotions and explaining and exploring children’s understanding of their own and other people’s emotional responses i. Improve their understanding of what emotions may appropriately be displayed ii. Better at taking the perspective/viewpoint of others and understanding others’ and own emotions II. Pretend play w/ siblings or friends (often characterized by conflict and other intense emotional experiences) is associated w/ increased understanding of other people’s feelings and beliefs III. Temperamental differences probably play an important role in the socialization of emotion a. Difficult temperaments – require more distinct intervention such as coaching THE DEVELOPMENT OF ATTACHMENT I. Attachment: a strong emotional bond that forms b/w infant and caregiver in the second half of the child’s first year a. Visible signs of attachment: i. warm greetings when parent approaches (smiling broadly, stretching out arms, touching parent’s face, snuggling close ii. effort to stay near parents in an unfamiliar situation iii. crawling or running to their sides, holding on to a leg iv. distress that older babies show when their parents leave them temporarily II. emergence of attachment is one of the developmental milestones in the first year of life a. it’s thought to enhance the parents’ effectiveness in the later socialization of their children b. children w/ an attachment to their parents want to maintain parents' affection/approval c. motivated to adopt the standards of
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