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Chapter 11

PSYC18H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Hans Eysenck, Neuroticism, Conscientiousness

Course Code
G Cupchik

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Chapter 11 – Individual Differences and Personality
Emotion Regulation
- Temper tantrums are most common in the second year. Physical aggression peaks at 24 42
months of age and declines steadily thereafter.
- When children learn to speak, they can talk about what distresses them or angers them
rather than communicating only through expressions and actions
- Mobility also has an important effect: when infants begin to move and can start to satisfy
some of their own desires, their need for an intense signaling system lessens
- Regulation starts with the modulation of the expression of emotion (first fostered by
caregiver and then gradually becomes internalized by the child: parent soothing child, infant
becomes able to do that themselves)
- Cichetti, Ganian and Barnett (1991) described states of emotion regulation. Failure at one
stage has implications for subsequent stages.
o1) First months: task is to achieve stability in functioning (signalling distress and
receiving comfort from caregiver. With repeated interactions, child learns during first
year to inhibit certain expressions and soothe the self)
o2) End of first year: attachment to a caregiver. Mental representations are formed of
interactions with caregiver (when, where, how she/he is available) Both child and
caregiver regulate their emotions according to what can be expected from the other
o3) Development of the self-system and of self-regulation. Children begin to develop a
notion of an autonomous self. Start to think about events, to find different ways of
interpreting, to calm themselves with thought
- What is emotion regulation?
oSome researchers refer to individual differences in intensity, frequency, and duration
of emotions.
oIt may also concern the balance of emotions displayed by the individual
oAlso used to refer to the processes involved in modifying emotional reactions: coping
processes that lessen or augment the intensity of experience
oRegulatory processes affect every stage of the emotion process: appraisal of event,
evaluation of context, suppression of urges as well as selection and control of various
kinds of Expression and action
oRydell, Berlin and Bohlin (2003) found that children’s emotionality and their skills of
emotion regulation in the year before entering school predicted both prosocial
behaviour and behaviour problems in the early school years
oJames Gross (2003): women viewed unpleasant clip. Was told to suppress emotions,
respond naturally or reappraise situation. Women who were asked to suppress had
increased blood pressure.

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Chapter 11 – Individual Differences and Personality
Successful regulation is not accomplished by suppression but by shifting
attention and reappraisal
oChildhood regulation, socialization, and responsiveness to parental discipline
reappraisal means the child is being able to hold the relationship wit the parent as a
high-level goal. Also affects adolescence. In later life, as people get older, their
motivation increases to derive emotional meaning from life, rather than to expand
emotional horizons
- The Strange Situation and styles of attachment
oPerhaps most developed and influential framework for thinking about how parent-
child relations shape enduring patterns of emotionality
oBowlby (1971) saw attachment as an evolutionarily derived aspect of the parent-child
relationship is activated when the experiences a threat
oMary Ainsworth (1978) developed a test of infants’ responses to a situation that was
strange to them based on observations of infants’ emotional reactions to brief
separations from and reunions with their caregivers
Three different attachment styles
1) Securely attached: infants are distressed but can be comforted
2) Insecure attachment
oAmbivalently attached: will be near caregivers upon return but
will not be comforted, showing great deal of angry and resistant
oAvoidantly attached: make no effort to interact when caregivers
3) Disoriented/disorganized: Added by Main and Solomon (1986),
disorientation and contradictory behaviours
All attachment styles show emotionality and bias. Secure shows
positive/negative/neutrality. Ambivalent shows more negative emotions such
as anger. Avoidant infants show fewer emotions in general.
In English-speaking countries with middle-class subjects: 65% secure, 15%
ambivalent, 20% avoidant. In other countries, proportions are different
Israel: high proportion of babies showed ambivalent style
Germany: more avoidant, less encouraging of close bodily contact

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Chapter 11 – Individual Differences and Personality
Japan: no avoidant babies
Possible reasons for difference: some cultures may value early
independence, frequency of separation from parents, expression of
fear/sadness encouraged or discouraged
- Internal working models of attachment
oBowlby: early emotional interactions with caregivers lead children to build internal
working model of relationships. Mental model or set of beliefs of what to expect in
intimate relationship.
oEach intimate relationship leaves an imprint, becomes an element in the construction
of selfhood, template of how to understand and act in intimate relationships
oGeorge, Kaplan and Main (1985) studied adults to see whether attachment styles
persisted when they raised children of their own
1) Secure/autonomous: talks about childhood with balance
2) Preoccupied: still overwhelmed by traumatic childhood
3) Dismissing: distanced accounts, inability to recall events
The babies of these pregnant women were then tested with Strange Situation
and results show some correlation between adult and child.
oEverett Waters (2000) followed 60 white middle-class people who had been classified
in the Strange Situation as infants and were given an adult attachment interview at
the age of 21
Negative events such as loss of parent, parental divorce and others affected
change of style
oAttachment styles may also recover. It is not set for life.
- Influences on attachment
oAinsworth (1978) visited homes of mothers and their babies every three weeks during
first year. Noted how quickly mothers responded to babies crying. Mothers who
responded rapidly and consistently were more likely to have a secure baby
oNo evidence of genetic influence to attachment styles
- Effects of attachment
oChildren classified as securely attached have been found to have better relationships
with other children, to be more sociable and communicative with adults, to have
better problem-solving skills and to be more compliant.
oAnxiously attached individuals were found more likely to interpret life events in
pessimistic, threatening fashion, increasing chances of depression
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