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Chapter 6

PSYB20H3 Chapter 6: CH 6 Emotional Development and Attachment

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

Chapter 6 Emotional Development and Attachment E ARLY EMOTIONAL D EVELOPMENT 1. Describe the functions of early emotions in children. Why are such emotions important? Emotions  (a) subjective reactions to the environment, (b) usually experienced cognitively as either pleasant or unpleasant, (c) generally accompanied by some form of physiological arousal, and (d) often communicated to others by some behaviour or action. Why Are Emotions Important? • Means of letting others know how we feel • Ability to communicate our emotions and learning to interpret other people’s emotions is linked with out social success • Linked to children’s mental and physical health • Physical health is also emotionally related 2. Discuss some of the different theoretical perspectives on emotional development A child’s emotional development is influenced by many factors including: her genetic inheritance, the conditions of her environment, and her interactions with her family members and, later, her peers. Genetic-Maturational Perspective • Emotions are best seen as products of biological factors • Individual differences in temperament play a central role in how intensely children react to emotionally arousing situations and how well they are able to regulate their reactions • Twin studies and research with premature children support the biological underpinnings for development of emotion The Learning Perspective • Useful in explaining individual differences in emotional expression • Different emotional expressions have different onsets, frequencies, and intensities in different children • Parents can either reinforce certain emotional displays (such as smiling) by rewarding them (showing enthusiasm) or they can interfere by being punitive and dismissing their children’s emotional expressions and experiences • Children learn many fears through operant conditioning when their own behaviour (climbing a ladder) is followed by a punishing consequence (painful fall) • They may also learn other fears simply by observing others (watching mother’s fearful reaction to a bee) Functionalist Perspective • Emotions serve to help us achieve our goals and adapt to the environment o Emotions aroused help us to achieve our goals  fear helps us flee a dangerous situation which achieves our goal of self-preservation • Emphasizes the role of emotions in establishing and maintaining social relationships as well as the role that social cues play in regulating our emotional perceptions and expressions o We use information provided by others’ emotional signals to guide our own behaviour • Memories of the past serve as a guide to shaping how child will respond emotionally to a situation 3. Describe positive and negative primary emotions. Give examples of each and discuss the developmental time course for these examples. Describe secondary emotions and discuss the developmental time course for some examples; describe the development of emotional expressions. Primary & Secondary Emotions • Primary Emotions  (i.e. fear, joy, disgust, surprise, sadness, interest) emerge early in life and do not require introspection or self-reflection Chapter 6 Emotional Development and Attachment • Secondary Emotions  self-conscious, (i.e. pride, shame, guilt, jealousy, embarrassment) emerge later in development and depend on our sense of self and our awareness of other individual’s reaction to our actions D EVELOPMENT OF P RIMARY EMOTIONS Positive Primary Emotions: Smiling & Laughter [Smiling] • Reflex Smile  a newborn infant’s smile, which appears to reflect some internal stimulus, such as a change in the infant’s level of arousal, rather than an external stimulus, such as another person’s behaviour • Between 3-8 weeks, infants begin to smile in response to external events as well • 3MO infants smile almost exclusively at human faces than they do to puppets with faces resembling humans • As infants grow older they tend to smile at different aspects of the human face o First the eyes, then the eyes, and finally the entire face and the facial expression • 10MO generally reserved a special kind of smile for their mothers, rarely offering it to strangers  Duchenne Smile (upturned mouths and wrinkles around the eyes) • Individual differences in the amount of smiling a baby does depends on the social responsiveness of the baby’s environment • Gender is related to baby’s smiling: girls generally show more spontaneous smiles than boys o Suggests that girls may be genetically better prepared for social interactions than boys o However parents generally elicit and expect more emotions from girls than boys, which suggests both genetic and environmental factors need to be considered • There are national, ethnic, and gender differences in smiling [Laughing] • Infants become skilled at laughing by 4 months • Up to 7MO, babies are increasingly laughing at visual, tactile, and social events, but reactions to auditory stimulations remains stable • From 7 months on, both social and tactile stimuli begins to be less effective o Respond more to social games, visual displays, and other activities in which they can participate • As children grow older, laughing increases and becomes more of a social event Negative Primary Emotions: Fear, Anger, and Sadness [Fear] • At the same time that babies begin to display signs of positive emotion, they are also learning to be fearful of some events and people, especially unfamiliar ones • Fear of strangers evolves more slowly than positive emotional expressions • 2 phases in the emergence of fear: o 3MO  infants show wariness; distress to events that they cannot comprehend and assimilate o 7-9MO  babies show fear, an immediate negative reaction to an event that has specific meaning for them, such as seeing a face of a total stranger • Stranger Distress  a fear of strangers that typically emerges in infants around the age of 9 months • Contextual factors help determine the way an infant will react to a stranger o Own home vs. unfamiliar setting o Mother’s lap vs. sitting alone o Mother’s reaction (positive expression vs. look of worry) • Social Referencing  the process of “reading” emotional cues in others to help determine how to act in an uncertain situation Chapter 6 Emotional Development and Attachment • Another contextual factor is the degree to which the situation allows the infant some control over the extent and pace of the interaction • Separation Protest  an infant’s distress reaction to being separated from their mother, typically peaks around 15MO More Fear Less Fear Context Unfamiliar setting (e.g., lab) No physical contacFamiliar setting (home) with familiar figure; distant from mother or Close physical proximity to familiar person Sober or negative emotional familiar figure Positive or reactions to stranger from familiar figure encouraging reactions to stranger from familiar figure Characteristics of Adult size and features Child size and features stranger Behaviour of Passive and exhibits sober expression Active, friendly, smiling stranger Degree of control Low control and unpredictability High control and over strange person predictability or object [Anger & Sadness] • First negative expressions to appear are startle, disgust (response to bitter tastes), and distress (response to pain) that seem unrelated to external events • Infants usually display anger in response to particular external events • Anger is elicited by pain (receiving a shot) and frustration (having their teething toy taken away just before it reaches their mouth) • Sadness occurs when there are breakdowns in parent-infant communication (occurs less often than anger) D EVELOPMENT OF S ECONDARY E MOTIONS Pride, Shame, Guilt, and Jealousy • Rely on the development of self-awareness and emerge toward the middle of the second year of life [Pride & Shame] • Emerging sense of distinguishing between “easy” and “difficult” and between “success” and “failure” • More likely to feel pride if they succeeded at difficult tasks rather than easy ones • Expressed shame if they failed at easy tasks, but little shame if they failed a difficult task • Success at solving easy problem produced joy, but solving a difficult problem produced pride • Failing a hard task produced sadness, but failing an easy task produced shame [Guilt] • Understanding of guilt emerges in middle childhood • Younger children focus on simple outcomes, whereas older children, who focus on the role of personal responsibility, understand that unless they themselves caused the outcome they need not feel guilty [Jealousy] • Occurs very early in a child’s life • It is a social emotion that occurs among three people who have established important social relationships • They way children express jealousy changes across development Chapter 6 Emotional Development and Attachment • The experience and expression of jealousy depend on the nature of the relationship in which this unpleasant emotion arises 4. Describe individual differences in emotions. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN E MOTIONS • Sociable babies show less wariness in encounters wither strangers than less sociable babies • “Behaviourally inhibited” children are shy, fearful, and introverted o Often avoid peers o More anxious and upset by mildly stressful situations o Shyness teds to endure over time o Show atypical physiological responses  rapid heart rates • Warm, supportive parents can reduce fearfulness and lessen the likelihood that their children will continue to be abnormally shy and fearful R ECOGNIZING E MOTION IN O THERS • Mother-infant face-to-face interactions plays a big role in the development of recognizing emotions o Positive emotions such as joy can be recognized earlier than negative emotions such as anger • The more time mothers spend interacting directly with their babies, the more successful the infants are at recognizing their mother’s emotional expressions • The quantity and quality of interactions between parents and their infants makes a difference in children’s ability to recognize emotions • Early family environment and culture play a role in shaping children’s abilities to recognize emotions 5. Discuss the idea of emotional regulation. What are emotional display rules? EMOTIONAL RECOGNITION AND EMOTIONAL D ISPLAYR ULES • Children’s methods of emotional control continue to change as they grow o Ex. 6MO who was confronted by a stranger typically looked away or became fussy, 18MO was more likely to use self-soothing and self-distraction to cope with uncertain or arousing situations • Begin to learn a variety of strategies for emotional regulation as parents and others start to require them to exert even more control over their emotional expression o Emotional expressions become less frequent, less variable and more conventionalized, less distinct, and less intense and exaggerated • Emotional regulation abilities are important predictors of later adjustment • Children begin to learn emotional display rules  rules that dictate which emotions one may appropriately display in particular situations o Culture plays an important role in how children appraise situations, communicate emotions, and act on their feelings 6. Discuss how children think about and understand emotions including the notion of emotional scripts and the recognition of multiple emotions. H OW C HILDREN THINK A BOUT EMOTIONS Matching Emotions to Situations: Emotional Scripting • Emotional Script  a complex scheme that enables a child to identify the emotional reaction that is likely to accompany a particular sort of event • Emotional scripts gain in complexity as they mature • Recognizing emotion based on facial expression (anger displayed by frowning) and behaviour (crying) to recognizing emotion with no facial expression (pride, disappointment) Chapter 6 Emotional Development and Attachment Multiple Emotions, Multiple Causes • Children show a clear developmental sequence in their ability to understand multiple and conflicting feelings • As they develop they learn to consider more and more aspects of an emotion-related situation, such as desires, goals, and intentions of the people involved Children's understanding of multiple and conflicting emotions Approximate Children's Capabilities Ages 4 to 6 Conceive of only one emotion at a time: “You can't have two feelings at the same time.” 6 to 8 Begin to conceive of two emotions of the same type occurring simultaneously: “I was happy and proud that I hit a home run.” “I was upset and mad when my sister messed up my things.” 8 to 9 Describe two distinct emotions in response to different situations at the same time: “I was bored because there was nothing to do and mad because my mom punished me.” 10 Describe two opposing feelings where the events are different or different aspects of the same situation: “I was sitting in school worrying about the next soccer game but happy that I got an A in math.” “I was mad at my brother for hitting me but glad my dad let me hit him back.” 11 on Understand that the same event can cause opposing feelings: “I was happy that I got a present but disappointed that it wasn't what I wanted.” The Family’s Role in Emotional Development • Denham outlined three ways in which families influence children’s emotions • o First: family members own patterns of emotional expressiveness serve as models for the child’s emotional expressiveness o Second: parents’ and siblings’ specific reactions to their children’s emotions
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