Basic Emotions: Universal across cultures (Same emotions are seen/recognized).
• Basic emotions are those that can be matched with pictures of facial expressions and/or vocal cues.
Emotional Expression in Infancy: Birth-6 Months (defined in terms of features)
• Evoked by imitation
Natural Observation vs. Structured Observation: Both require “RATER AGREEMENT”
+ Non laboratory setting
- Many important behaviors are infrequent
- Behavior may be affected by the presence of observers
+ Can generate behaviors of interest
+ Greater control over context
- Less naturalistic setting
Stranger Anxiety: Child’s fear of strangers, even when parent is present.
• Lasts until about 2 years of age
• Large individual differences
Separation Anxiety: Distress when parent leaves.
• Cultural difference when degree/amount,
• Cultural similarity in pattern of developmental trajectory.
“Self Conscious” Emotions: Dependent on the infant having a concept of ‘self’
• Evidence emerges btw. 18-24 months
• Two different Methods:
- Mirror self recognition:
- Awareness of own body – ‘shopping cart’ study:
• Ex. Embarrassment, pride, guilt, shame, etc.
Temperament: Individual differences in regulation of emotions, early manifestations of personality. Early emerging/biologically based individual differences.
• Easy – Readily adjust to new situations, quickly establish daily routines (eating, sleeping, etc.)
• Difficult – Slow to adjust to new experiences, react negatively to novel stimuli and events, irregular daily routines
• “Slow to warm up” – Difficult at first, but become easier over time with repeated contact with new situations, people, and events.
Recognizing and Understanding Emotions
• Before 6 months old: Basic discrimination of emotions
- Method: When habituated to one expression, look longer at new expression (suggesting interest in the new/novel)
• After 6 months old: Perceive expressions as meaningful.
- Method: Cross modal selective looking – matching vocal emotion cue to visual facial expression
Social Referencing: Communicative function of emotion - using emotion expression cues to guide actions in ambiguous situations
• Ex. Visual cliff
Culturally Specific “Display Rules”: When it is ok to express certain emotions as long as:
• You do NOT show your internal emotions
• You replace internal emotions with external signs of a different emotion
• Ex. Pretending things are great even though you’re really depressed…?
- Girls > Boys… Girls are much better than boys at exhibiting positive emotional behaviors
• Girls @ age 7 = .60, @ age 9 = 1.00, @ age 11 = 1.50
• Boys @ age 7 = 0, @ age 9 = .75, @ age 11 = 1.00
Parents and Peer Influences
Individual Differences: Stable across time, measured via questionnaires tapping various dimensions (introversion, extroversion, etc.). Early temperaments are first indications…emerging at just a few weeks of age.
• Nature (Biological) vs. Nurture (Environmental)
Behavioral Genetics: Individual differences between people are the result of them having different genes or different environments?
• Twin Studies – different levels of genetic similarity, equal environmental similarity
- Identical (monozygotic) twins share 100% of their DNA
- Fraternal (dizygotic) twins share 50% of their DNA
- Logic: Differences in similarity between sets of Identical twins and sets of fraternal twins is due to genetic factors. The higher average similarity/correlation between identical twins compared to that of fraternal twins suggests either a genetic contribution to differences in that trait (if MZ is higher).
• Ex. If Identical twins are more similar, it is due to their similar genetics
• Adoption Studies - Adoptive siblings not genetically related
- Different levels of genetic similarity (50%)