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Chapter 14

PSY BEH 11C Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Jerome Kagan

Psychology and Social Behavior
Course Code
Susan Charles

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Norton, Ch. 14 (pp. 283-290)
From Gale’s Prophecy: Teperaet i Hua Nature by Jerome Kagan
Coll filmed 117 twenty-one-month-old Caucasian children as they encountered
unfamiliar people, objects, and situations
o After being greeted, the mother and infant were taken to a playroom with toys
arranged on the rug
o After five minutes of play, the examiner and mother joined the child on the floor,
and the examiner modeled some acts that varied in complexity
The examiner then withdrew without giving any specific instructions to the child
o Some children cried as the examiner moved away
Distress oasioed y the hild’s uertaity aout the iplied
obligation to imitate the examiner
After an additional period of play, an unfamiliar woman entered the room and sat on a
chair for thirty seconds
o Some children retreated to the mother; most stared
The women then called the child by name and invited him to join her in performing
some simple acts taken from a popular mental development assessment
o Some children withdrew to the mother and would not approach
The unfamiliar woman then left, and the examiner returned to reveal a metal robot
o The examiner encouraged the child to approach and touch the robot
Some children refused and stood by their mothers
The examiner left and, upon a signal, the mother left the room, leaving the child alone
o Some children cried as the mother left
o Others became distressed as the door closed
Coll used fretting, crying, withdrawal, absence of spontaneous interactions with the
examiner, and prolonged hesitation in approaching the robot or the stranger as signs of
o The children who displayed these behavioral signs of fear in a majority of the
situations were classified as inhibited
These children had a less variable heart rate than the uninhibited children
o The children who did the opposite were classified as uninhibited
Most of the children (80%) who had been classified as either inhibited or uninhibited
returned to the same room several weeks later and were taken through the same
unfamiliar procedures in order to guarantee that their initial behavior was stable and
not a temporary reaction
o Each group retained the style displayed earlier
Incidentally, the mothers were asked to rate their children on shyness, fearfulness, and
o Parents are not perfect observers of these qualities
Snidman was interested in applying the techniques of spectral analysis of heart rate (a
more sensitive index of sympathetic reactivity) to these two temperament groups
o Used slightly older children
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