Psychology 2040A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Twin, Frontal Lobe, Heritability

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18 Nov 2011
Psych 2040A
Chapter 11: Emotional Development, Temperament, and Attachment
Displaying Emotions: The Development and Control of Emotions
positive emotion is much easier to distinguish than negative emotion
each facial expression becomes more recognizable with age
Sequencing of Discrete Emotions
basic emotion: set of emotions present at birth or emerging early in the 1st year
of life (i.e. anger, sadness, joy, fear)
biologically programmed; emerge at roughly the same age and in all cultures
complex emotions: self-conscious or self-evaluative emotions that emerge in the
second year and depend, in part, on cognitive development (usually appear in 2nd
year of life)
ie. shame, guilt, envy, pride
embarrassment does not emerge until child learns to see themselves in a
mirror or photograph (self-recognition)
may also show evaluative embarrassment - stems from a negative evaluation
of oneʼs performance
difference between shame and guilt
guilt: failed our obligations to other people; may approach others for reparations
of his act
shame: more self-focused and not based on a concern for others
big relationship between pride and success, shame + failure, and motherʼs
reactions to these outcomes
self-evaluative emotions are more inclined to come out when an adult is present
Socialization of Emotions and Emotional Self-Regulation
emotional display rules: culturally defined rules specifying which emotions
should or should not be displayed in certain situations
just like language, emotions should be acquired and used in order to get along
with other people and maintain their approval
babies are trained to display more positive than negative emotions
emotions that are acceptable will vary with culture
regulating emotions: strategies for managing emotions or adjusting emotional
arousal for an appropriate level of intensity
some strategies for reducing negative arousal are rocking themselves, chewing
on objects, or moving away from things that upset them
toddlers almost find it impossible to regulate fear
children frequently exposed to negative emotion often display high levels of
negative emotionality that they have difficulty regulating
involves the ability to suppress, maintain, or intensify emotions
acquiring Emotional Display Rules - when suppressing an emotion, we also
replace it
with age, children get better at hiding their true feelings
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mothers who emphasize more positive emotions had children who were better
at masking feelings
development of regulation continues until adolescence
self-perception/ self-esteem has strong impact
Recognizing and Interpreting Emotions
Social Referencing
social referencing: use of othersʼ emotions to infer meaning of an ambiguous
around 7-10 months, infants are able to recognize emotions
eventually, (2 years) they look to peers after they have appraised an object/
situation, to use othersʼ emotions to assess the accuracy of their own judgements
Conversations about Emotions
around 18-24 months, infants begin to talk about emotions
the more children discuss, they better they are at interpreting
empathy: ability to experience the same emotion one is experiencing (motivates to
comfort others)
Later Milestones in Emotional Understanding
increasingly develop during childhood
eventually recognize that a personʼs current mood may stem from not only current
events, but also past.
by 8 years: realize that a situation can elicit a wide range of emotions
by 6-9 years: realize one can experience more than one emotion at a time
ability to integrate different information (facial, behavioural, situational) to
determine which emotion
Emotions and Early Social Development
emotions serve as a communicative function
infant emotions are adaptive and promote social contact
important for infant to detect emotions as it teachers them to behave in a variety of
situations (social inferencing)
a way of learning
3 components of emotional competence: (related to social competence)
competent social expressivity - more positive than negative
competent emotional knowledge
competent emotional regulation
Temperament and Development
temperament: personʼs characteristic modes of responding emotionally and
behaviourally to environmental events.
believed to be the building blocks of adult personality
6 dimensions of infant temperament:
fearful distress (a type of negative affect)
irritable distress (a type of negative affect)
positive affect
activity level
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attention span/ persistence
rhythmicity (bodily functions)
variations in temperament can arise with biological maturation and experience (as
frontal lobe matures)
Hereditary and Environmental Influences on Temperament
Hereditary Influences
identical twins more similar than fraternal twins
heritability coefficient are moderate at best throughout infancy
Environmental Influences
home environments that siblings share influences positive aspects of temperament
(smiling, sociability, and soothability)
negative temperamental attributes are shaped by non-shared environmental
influences (ones that siblings donʼt share)
Cultural Influences
ie. those who are shy in North America experience social disadvantage
ie. those who are shy and quiet in Asia (China) as perceived as socially mature.
Stability of Temperament
several components of temperament (such as irritability, activity level, sociability, and
fearfulness) stay stable through life
behavioural inhibition: temperamental attitude reflecting oneʼs tendency to withdraw
from unfamiliar people/situations
a moderately stable attribute
infants easily upset by novelty = greater electrical activity in the right cerebral
hemisphere of the brain
a genetically influenced attribute
Early Temperamental Profiles and Later Development
Thomas and Chess (1977) - studied 141 infants longitudinally - 3 temperamental
Easy Temperament (40%)
Difficult Temperament (10%)
Slow-to-warm-up Temperament (15%)
remaining children did not fit one of the profiles, showing their unique patterns of
temperamental attributes
Temperamental Profiles and Childrenʼs Adjustment
the patterns may persist over time and influence a childʼs adjustment to a variety of
settings later in life.
slow-to-warm-up pattern display hesitation to embrace new activities - can be
ignored by peers.
Child Rearing and Temperament
goodness-of-fit model: Thomas and Chessʼ notion that development is likely to
be optimized when parentsʼ child-rearing practices are adapted to childʼs
parenting style and mood is very much affected
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