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Chapter 8

Chapter 8. Development of Emotions in Childhood

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Gerald Cupchik

Chapter 8. Development of Emotions in Childhood Saturday, April 16, 2011 11:04 PM Emotion development is social development. The idea of discrete emotions derive from Tomkinss (1962) proposal that each emotion comes as an innate package with its own neural program. { Emotional expressions, then, are outward, visible signs of inner programs. { As development proceeds, specific emotions are expressed in forms recognizable to others. Two schemes to analyzing babies facial expressions { Izards MAX, with its later modification AFFEX. { Osters Baby-FACS, an adaptation for infants of the original adult FACS by Ekman and Friesen. Expressions of emotions other than disgust is hard to distinguish in the first few days of life. { 2 months - happiness expression can be distinguished in babies faces. Social smiles also emerge after the first month or two. { 3 months - babies smile in response to pleasurable social encounters - same kinds of events that makes adults and older children happy. { Mastery of a skill makes infants smile. Demonstrated when infants could pull string to turn music on. { Infants also smile to make adults interested and happy, even before they can direct expressions at specific people. { With negative emotions, some researchers accept that if a facial expression meets coding criteria then a specific emotion is inferred. Thus those using Izards MAX system have seen expressions of anger, sadness, and pain-distress in 3 month olds. Other researchers have argued that babies negative expressions show only undifferentiated distress. A more exacting criterion is that discrete emotions should only be inferred if a specific facial expression is made in the context of an appropriate elicitor. When infants pulled string and no music, they showed more anger and fussiness. Sullivan and Lewis studied three kinds of frustration: Loss of the stimulation (extinction). Reduction in contingent stimulation (partial reinforcement). Loss of stimulus control (noncontingency). For all these conditions 4 to 5 month old babies increased their arm movements and showed anger expressions, but not sadness, as coded by MAX. { For discrete emotions to exist two criteria were to be met: The predicted expression should occur more often than any non-predicted expression in response to the specific elicitor. The predicted expression must be displayed more often in its appropriating eliciting circumstances than in non-predicted eliciting circumstances { Happiness met the criteria well. { Fear met it least well. Stimuli eliciting fear provoked wide range of emotions, and significantly more non-predicted than fear. { Surprise was also not good. It was elicited as often by elicitors hypothesized to elicit fear and sadness; predicted expressions were seen more frequently in non-predicted ones. No prototypical surprise reactions in children between 5 and 14 months old. { In babies less than a year old, happy smiling occurs in response to playful games; while anger is in response to frustration. Other expressions occur but it is less clear that they always occur in specific eliciting conditions. There are many circumstances where the elicitor does not seem compatible with infants emotional expressions. Some believed that infants negative emotions are just undifferentiated stress with varying levels of intensity. Camras elaborated that most negative expressions of infants can be coded as distress-pain, anger, or blends of discrete emotions. During negative emotions, infants contract their orbicularis oculi muscles and close their eyes. According to AFFEX, the only difference between codings of expressions of distress-pain and anger is that for anger the eyes are open. In young infants negative expressions certain occur, but at different intensities (AFFEX): High intensity - distress pain. Medium intensity - anger. Low or waning intensity - sadness. www.notesolution.com
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