Chapter 8 ± Development of Emotions in Childhood
The emergence of emotions
x Vocal sounds during evolution as momentous, signaling the beginnings of a new kind of adaptation Æ social cooperation.
Emotions in the first year of life
x End of first year, one is a social being with sociality organized around emotions
x Idea of discrete emotions (Tomkins, 1962) proposes that each emotion comes as an innate package with its own neural
x Emotional expressions, then, are outward, and visible signs of inner programs.
x Although crying also occurs in very young infants, expressions of distinct emotions other than disgust are hard to
distinguish in the first few days of life.
x By the time they are two months old, adults are generally good at seeing expressions of happiness in their faces.
o ,]DUGV¶0$;Æ later modification AFFEX
x Similar smiles are made during sleep
x Social smiles do not emerge until after the first month or two. Also begin to occur with gentle stroking
x By the third month, they occur frequently in interaction with a caregiver, a situation that we can infer is associated with
x Also happens when infants master skills, music, etc.
x Even before infants can direct expressions at specific people, their smiles function to draw adults into affectionate
x Discrete emotions should only be inferred if a specific facial expression is made in the context of an appropriate elicitor.
x In babies who are less than a year old, happy smiling occurs in response to playful games, and anger in response to
o 1) loss of the stimulation (extinction)
o 2) reduction in contingent stimulation (partial reinforcement)
o 3) loss of stimulus control (noncontingency)
x Discrete emotions exist two criteria were to be met:
o 1) predicted expression should occur more often than any non-predicted expression in response to a specific
elicitor, for instance an expression of fear must occur more often than surprise in response to a visual cliff and
to approach of the stranger.
o 2) the predicted expressions must be displayed more often in its appropriate eliciting circumstances than in non-
predicted eliciting circumstances, for instance the fear expression must occur more in response to the visual cliff
and the approach of a stranger than in response to the vanishing object or to the substitution of a toy.
x Camras (1992): most negative expressions of infants can be coded as distress-pain, as anger, or as blends of discrete
o When making negative expressions, infants often contract their orbicularis oculi muscles and close their eyes
o AFFEX ± only difference between codings of expressions of distress-pain and anger is that in anger, the eyes
High intensity ± AFFEX coding as distress-pain
Med-Low intensity ± AFFEX coding as anger
Low-intensity ± AFFEX coding as sadness
x Self-organizing systems ± neurophysiological programs do not genetically specified as ready-assembled packages.
o Such packages do occur but they are constructed during early life from lower-genetically derived components,
which are formed into distinct structures by interaction among the components and by interaction of babies with
o Certain kinds of interactions among parts of a system maintain their relationship and overall form because the
forces of internal coherence are stronger than those that might impinge on the system from outside.
o In a comparable way, the dynamic systems theorists of psychology say, the systems of components have their
expressions as smiles, frowns, and distinctive emotional interactions, is not made up of billiard-ball-like
interactions but rather it is dynamic, self-organizing and resistant to disruption.
o Attractor state ± an organization to which a system will gravitate however it starts; predictions are a set of
([DFKHHUIXOSHUVRQ¶VDWWUDFWRUVWDWHVZLOOEHHPRWLRQVRIKDSSLQHVVDperson who is suspicious of
the world will head toward an attractor state of fear and anger.
x Componential theories of adult emotions ± components occur together because they are elicited by features of the
environment that occur together
x Developmental view ± components will affect emotions do become neurophysiologically linked together, but they did not
start that way.
x Fogel et al. (1992) propose that in interactions of such systems with the social world, further interdependencies occur.