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Characterized by:

a) neural + physiological responses

b) subjective feelings

c) cognitions related to those feelings

d) the desire to act
--> fight/flight


Differential/ discrete emotions theory

Emotions are viewed as innate and discrete from one another from very early in life

--> each emotion is believed to be packaged with a specific + distinctive set of facial and bodily reactions


Functionalist approach on the emergence of emotions

The basic function of emotions is to promote action toward achieving a goal

1. emotions are not discrete from one another
2. emotions vary somewhat based on social environment

ex.: fear --> avoid threat


Dynamic systems theory

a) Cognitions

b) emotional feelings

c) neural events

--> link together with each occasion to form a coherent emotional interpretation


Development of the expression of positive emotions in children

1 month: Fleeting smiles, primarily during REM sleep

3 months: Exhibit social smiles, smiles directed at people
--> strengstens relationship with other people

7 months: Smiling at familiar people than at people in general

End of 1st year: Cognitive development allows children to take pleasure from unexpected events

2 y/o: Children enjoy making other people laugh

Preschool + elementary years: Expression of positive emotions decline, as they learn that they are not always appropriate


Development of the expression of negative emotions in children

2 months: Facial expressions of anger + sadness have been differentiated

5-12 months: Correspondence between context and emotional expressions become more consistent

3-6 y/o: Show less negative emotions because they have the ability to use language


Development of emotional regulation

1. Parents regulate emotional arousal by soothing or distracting infants

2. Reduce distress by unselectively averting their gaze from the source

3. Children show awareness of adults demands and begin regulating themselves accordingly

4. Children are able to inhibit motor behavior when asked to do so



Constitutionally based individual differences in

a) motor + attentional reactivity
b) self regulation

that demonstrates consistency across situations and is relatively stable over time


The nature of temperament

Temperament refers to genetically inherited characteristics


The nurture of temperament

Temperament refers to neural development, hormonal responding that can be affected by

a) nutritional deficiencies
b) maternal stress
c) exposure to drugs
d) premature birth


Easy babies

1. Quick to adjust to new situations

2. establish daily routines

3. cheerful in mood and easy to calm


Difficult babies

1. slow to adjust to new situations

2. react negatively to novel stimuli/events

3. irregular in daily routines and bodily functions


Slow - to - warm babies

Difficult at first but easier over time

--> as the contact with new objects/people/situations increases


The 6 dimensions of infant temperament

1. Fearful distress/ inhibition
--> duration of distress and withdrawal in new situations

2. Irritable distress
--> anger and frustration if child is not allowed to do what it wants to do

3. Attention span and persistence
--> duration of orienting toward objects/ events of interest

4. Activity level
--> how much the infant moves

5. Positive effects/ approach
--> degree to which the child smiles, laughs etc.

6. Rhythmicity
--> regularity and predictability of childs bodily functions


Goodness of fit

How children adjust also depends on the degree to which an individuals temperament is compatible with the demands and expectations of his or her social environment


How does family influence a childs temperamental development ?

High levels of positive emotion at home are associated with favorable outcomes for children

--> high levels of negative emotion and punitive reactions to childrens displays of negative emotion are linked to negative developmental outcomes


Meta representation

The capacity to represent a representation

ex.: a drawing represents something else


Model of Emotional development

The majority of emotional life emerges over the first 3 years of life

6 months: PRIMARY EMOTIONS appear

1 1/2 y/o: Emergence of CONSCIOUSNESS

ex.: envy, empathy

2 1/2 y/o: capable of SELF EVALUATION

ex.: guilt, pride, shame


The development of primary emotions

In the first 3-8 months of life, childrens emotional behavior reflects the emergence of six early emotions

1. joy (3m)
2. sadness (3m)
3. disgust (3m)
4. surprise (4-6)
5.anger (4-6)
6. fear (6-8)


Seperation anxiety

Feeling of distress that children experience when they are separated from individuals to whom they are emotionally attached


Self consciousness

The ability to experience ourself ( 1 1/2 y/o)

--> its emergence is dependent on the level of general mental maturity

--> empathy, jealousy, exposure embarrassment (after2 1/2y/o)


Which cognitive skills are required for children to be able to evaluate themselves ?

Child has to

1. absorb set of standards, rules and goals

2. have a SENSE OF SELF

3. be able to EVALUATE the self with regard to those standards, rules and goals and DETERMINE if it is a SUCCESS OR FAILURE


Steps of self evaluation

1. Child decides whether the particular event results from their own action

--> internal or external attribution, decision depends on the situation + childs characteristics

2. Determine whether the success or failure is global or specific


Global attribution

Child focuses on total self

ex.: "I am bad/good"


Specific attribution

Child focuses on specific actions, so the behavior is judged rather than the whole self


Emergence of SHAME

Negative and painful state that disrupts ongoing behavior, causing inability to speak

--> appears when child judges actions as a failure and then makes a global attribution


The emergence of GUILT

Produced when the child evaluates a behavior as a failure but focuses on specific features of self (specific attribution)

--> not as painful as shame


Social referencing

Ability to use others expressions and actions as information about environmental events

--> when they show this ability, they are able to use this information to modify/adjust their own behavior



The development of social referencing

1. Infants DETECT acoustic, visual + other sensory information that specify particular emotions

2. Infants DISCRIMINATE among emotional expressions

3. Infants RECOGNIZE emotional expressions

4. they show social referencing


1. Detection

Ability to detect cues specifying ones emotion, like expressions

--> infants merely detect information specifying emotional expressions due to their immature sensory abilities