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PSYC18H3 (275)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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Gerald Cupchik

Chapter 8: Development of Emotions in Childhood The Emergence of Emotions Emotions in the First year of life • Emotional development is social development • An important way of thinking about emotions is that there is a small set of primary emotions. Tomkins proposed that each emotion comes as an innate package with its own neural program. Emotional expressions are outward and visible signs of inner programs. • At 3 months, children smile in response to the same kinds of events that make older children and adults happy- attention, invitation to play, and other pleasurable social encounters. Smiling occurs when infants master skills. • One function of infants’ smiles is to make adults interested and happy • Discrete emotions should only be inferred if a specific facial expression is made in the context of an appropriate elicitor. • Sullivan and Lewis studied three different kinds of frustration: loss of the stimulation (extinction), reduction in contingent stimulation (partial reinforcement), a loss of stimulus control (noncontingency) . For all these conditions 4-5 month old babies increased their arm movements and showed anger expressions. Dynamic Systems • Although distinct emotions may be recognizable later in life, such expressions may not appear fully formed at first so that sometimes just partial expressions occur, and sometimes expressions seem inappropriate. • In young infants negative expressions occur but at different intensities. At high intensity the expression is distress-pain, at lower intensities it is anger and at very low waning intensity is sadness. When making negative expressions infants often contract their orbicularis oculi muscles and close their eyes. • Emotions develop as dynamic self organizing systems. The theory of dynamic systems is related to chaos theory. The idea of self organizing system is that certain kinds of interactions among parts of a system maintain their relationship and overall form b/c the forces of internal coherence are stronger than those that might impinge on the system from outside. • The dynamic system theorists of psychology say, the systems of components that have their expressions as smiles, frowns, and distinctive emotional interactions, is dynamic, self-organizing, resistant to disruption. Many different forms can occur. Some of these forms become recognizable as emotional expressions. • Self organization, as predicted by dynamic systems theorists may be important in early development of discrete emotions. • Fogel et al’s hypothesis has 3 principles; 1) emotions are based on self organizing dynamic systems; 2) these depend on continuously evolving sequences of action in particular environments rather than on internal programs; 3) categories of emotions are constructed from gradients of time and intensity of vocal, gestural and other features. According to this proposal, emotions emerge and they derive from the interactions of lower level processes that are not themselves emotions. Developmental Changes in Elicitation of Emotions • As children age, their capacities to signal different emotions and the kinds of events that elicit emotions changes. • With increasing age up to 2 years, children showed more fearful avoidance of the visual cliff, and more fear of strangers and masks. Fear bgan around 7 months, reached a peak at the end of the first year and then declined in intensity. Early school years fears surround bodily injury and physical danger. • In adolescence, social concerns become the predominant causes of fear and anxiety. Larson et al. There was an increasing negativity of emotional experience from grade 5 to grade 9. As participants go older, their negative emotional experience became more closely associated with stressful life events. From grade 10 onward, and average growth of positivity was found in adolescent emotional experience. Infants’ Perceptions and parent’s special Expressions • Habituation, how infants perceive emotion in other people is they look at patterns that are new to them for longer than patterns that are familiar. • Infants tend to recognize emotional expressions in their parents’ voices. Ex. Mothers use a different voice in talking to infants than they do talking to adults. This special voice of motherese, makes the child show more positive emotions. • Imitation, which babies show from teh fist few hours of life, has emotional effects for them. The internal feedback of facial actions when infants mimic adult emotional expressions culd evoke emotions in the child. Babies imitative expressions are important in sharing affective states with caregivers. • By school age, children are goo at recognizing emotions in other people. Attachment • Species characteristic patterns of attachment is central to human emotional development. • Love is an emotions that is the foundational relationship of infancy, and it forms template for intimate relationships for the rest of life. • Mary Ainsworth worked with Bowlby; when moter is present there is a sense of security and a distinctinve set of actions occur. When she is absent very different actions occur. • Konrad Lorenz, imprinting, there is a critical period in goslings about 2 days, during which a biological mechanism is set to recognize characteristics of the mother; • Attachment has become the most important single theme in the emotio
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