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PSYC18H3 (274)
Chapter 8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Gerald Cupchik

PSYC18 Chapter 8- Development of Emotions in Childhood The emergence of emotions st  Emotion is the 1 language for all of us  Understanding emotions includes how biologically based expressions enable for a parent and child to communicate  These expressions take on the form of culture and individuality Emotions in the first year of life  Emotional development is social development  Emotional expressions are outward visible signs of inner programs  As a child develops, specific emotions are expressed that are recognizable to others  Discrete emotions should be inferred if a specific facial expression is made in the context of an appropriate elicitor  For discrete emotions to occur, 2 criteria were to be met:  The predicted emotion should occur more often than any other expressions not predicted in response to the specific elicitor. Ex fear should occur more often than surprise in response to the visual cliff and to approach the stranger  than in non predicted eliciting circumstances. Ex fear expression must occur more in response to the visual cliff and the approach of a stranger than to a response to a vanishing object or to a substitution of a toy Dynamic systems  An example where Justine wasn’t showing the appropriate expressions under certain circumstances  Expressions didn’t often occur with expected elicitors  Infants negative emotions are only of undifferentiated distress  Most negative expressions of infants can be coded as distress pain, as anger, or as blends of discrete expressions  When making negative expressions, infants often contract their orbicularis oculi muscles and close their eyes  According to AFFEX, only difference btw codings of expressions of distress pain and anger is that in anger the eyes are open  In young infants, negative expressions do occur but at different intensities  At high intensity the expression is coded by AFFEX as distress pain  At slightly lower intensity as anger and at low or waning intensity as sadness  Researchers proposed that emotions develop as dynamic, self-organizing systems  According to this, neurophysiological programs do not come genetically specified as ready assembled packages  Such packages do occur but they are constructed early life from lower level genetically derived components which are formed into distinct structures by interaction among the components and by intrxn of babies with other ppl  Idea of a self-organizing system is that certain kinds of intrxns among parts of a system maintain their relationship and overall form bc the forces of internal coherence are stronger than those that might impinge on the system from outside  Dynamic systems theorists say the systems of components that have their expressions as smiles, frowns and distinctive emotional intrxns is not made up of billiard ball like intrxn of parts  It is dynamic, self organizing, resistant to disruption; many diff forms can occur and some of these forms bcome recognizable as emotional expressions  Dynamic systems theory doesn’t make specific predictions as offer a point of view in which behaviour doesn’t occur in response to specific external causes but is controlled by the inner organization of the system  Dynamic systems theory has certain similarities to theories that emotions are made up from components; there is a diff  In componential theories of adult emotions, components occur together bc they are elicited by features of the environ that occur together  In Fogel’s developmental view the components that will affect emotions do become neurophysiologically linked together but they didn’t start that way  The components strain each other within a whole self-organizing system  Izard agrees that self-organization as postulated by dynamic systems theorists may be imp in early development of discrete emotions  Fogel et al.- in intrxns of systems with the social world, interdependencies occur  The whole system of person with other b/comes self organizing and emotions occur as modes of intrxn among components and btw individuals and external events  These modes have distinctive time courses; ex the rise and fall of a laughter  Fogel et al’s hypothesis has 3 principles: o A) emotions are based on self organizing dynamic systems o B) these depend on continuously evolving sequences of action in particular environs, rather than on internal programs o C) categories of emotions are constructed from gradients of timing and intensity of vocal, gestural and other features  Emotions emerge and derive from the intrxns of lower level processes that are not emotions Developmental changes in elicitation of emotion  Social concerns are the causes of fear and anxiety in adolescents  From grade 10 onwards, an avg growth of positivity was found in adolescent emotional experience  Adolescent- period of life where sexual love first comes to be imp; known for its downs and ups Infants’s perceptions and parents’ special expressions  How infants perceive emotions in other ppl?  One method- habituation  Habituation- infants look at patterns that are new to them for longer period of time than patterns that are familiar  If infants are presented with a happy face, they look at it for a longer time; if presented another face that is happy, they look at it briefly bc its familiar to them now; but if later they are presented with a sad face, they look at it longer since this expression is new to them  Parents use a diff voice when talking to infants than talking to adults  Infants pay more attention to this special voice of motherese and show positive emotions during it  By 5 months, they can indicate affective messages that show approval or prohibition from the parents’ language  By 7 months, babies can match facial and vocal expressions  Imitation- which babies show in the first few hours of life has emotional effects for them  Melzoff suggested that the internal feedback of facial actions when infants mimic adult emotional expressions could evoke emotions in child Attachment  Psychological aspect of the concept “mammal”- an animal that is live born and suckled by its mother is attachment  John Bowlby realized that species-characteristic pattern of attachment is central to human emotional development  What is essential for mental health is the infant should experience a warm, intimate and continuous relationship with the mother  Bowlby’s conception- love is an emotion and not just something in the mind or body  Love- foundational relationship of infancy and forms a template for intimate relationships for the rest of life  He thought love in early years is imp for emotional development just as nutrition is for phy
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