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UNCG PSY 275 - Emotions and Temperament

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Emotions and TemperamentPower PointEmotion Origins- Where did emotions come from? Why do we have them?o Discrete Emotions Theory Discrete Emotions Theory- emotions are innate and discrete from one another from very early in life- Each emotions believed to be packaged with a specific and distinctive set of bodily and facial reactionso Happiness = Smileo Sad = Cry- Evidence for:o Very young infants have discrete, recognizable emotions before they can be taughto Emotion expressions are very similar around the worldo Functionalist Perspective Functionalist Perspective- basic function of emotions is to promote action toward achieving a goal We experience emotion to manage the relationship between ourselves and out environment (how we assess the environment) Emotions are not discrete and can vary based on social environment- Evidence for:o We can fake emotions and understand faking emotions can help reach certain goalso Appraisal process is key to emotionsEmotion Development – Basic Emotions- Six basic/universal emotions that children first express during infancyo Happinesso Sadnesso Angero Fearo Disgusto Surprise- All serve important survival/communication functions – innate Happiness- Newborno Reflexive smile, smile during REM sleep- 3 weekso Smile in reaction to pleasing external stimuli (touching, high-pitched voices)1- 6 to 7 weekso Social smile- smiles that are directed at people- 3 to 4 monthso Laughter- Preschoolo Appreciation for jokes- Function in infancyo Promote care from parents and other adults, strengthen social relationships- Function in childhood/adulthoodo Motivation towards pleasing/adaptive objects, people, things in environmentSadness- Infancyo Not pure sadness, typically mixed with anger General distress reaction- Preschoolo Displays of sadness are less frequent than anger Intense/prolonged displays of sadness can be seen when separated from parents for extended periods of time - Function in infancy/early childhoodo Draw attention and support from caregiver- Function later in childhood/adulthoodo Disengagement and withdrawal from an unattainable goalAnger- Infancyo Not pure anger, typically mixed with sadness- 4 monthso Begin to display frustration when unable to obtain a goal Increases in anger intensity for rest of 1st year- 18 to 24o Expressions of anger peak- 3 to 6 yearso Anger reaction lessens (at least on lab tasks) Better able to regulate emotions Language Better understanding of the intentions/motives of others Show anger in the home more often (but less intense than toddlerhood)- Functiono Signals a need for self-defense, motivation to work harder (remove obstacle)Surprise2- Newbornso Startle reflex (not true surprise)- 6 monthso First emerges, usually brief and then become happiness- Expression of surprise seems to be related to the expression of emotions of others in environmento Infants of depressed mothers expressed surprise less often/with less intensity- Functiono Indicate when something in the environment is not working in the way that is expected Important for early learning Fear- First emerges around 7 monthso Fear of strangers- 8 monthso Separation anxiety- feelings of distress when separated from primary caregiver(s) Begins to decline at 15 months Seen in a variety of cultures Thought to be both normal and adaptive - Encourages infants to stay close to caregivers (fears’ function in infancy)- Preschoolo Fears of imaginary beings (ghosts/monsters)- School ageo Fears of animals and the dark, as well as real-life issues regarding school, health, and personal harm- Functiono Fight/flight, withdrawal from potentially dangerous situationDisgust- 8 to 10 monthso First emerges, food-related- Infants learn, in part, what environmental objects they should react to with disgust- “Disgusting” is usually not seen in vocabulary until 3 to 4 years old, but “yucky” and “gross” are typical for a 2-year-old- Early childhoodo Disgust continues to be mostly food-related- School ageo Disgust is directed more at behaviors- Functiono Avoid contamination/illness/poisonThe Self-Conscious Emotions3- Emotions that relate to our sense of self and our consciousness of other’s reactionso Guilto Shameo Embarrassmento Prideo Jealouslyo Empathy- Emerge after 2-years-oldo Need to have explicit sense of self, be aware of parent/environment, expectations- Guilt- feelings of remorse, regret, desire to undo a behavior, based in empathy- Shame- self-worth feelings, caused by personal failure, feelings of exposure and desire to hide- Same situation could evoke shame and guilt – depends on response from parentso Shame = “you’re a bad boy” – emphasis on child, not behavioro Guilt = “you did a bad thing” – parents foster understanding of consequences, teach them to repair harm done, avoid publicly humiliating them, communicate respect/love during discipline- Cultural differenceso Situations that evoke self-conscious emotions differ across cultureso Self-conscious emotions differ in amount they are experiences Japanese children experience less pride as consequences of personal success than American childreno Feelings of shame are less detrimental in Asian cultures than Western cultures*Six basic emotions are observed during the first year of life and continue to develop beyond infancy**The self-conscious emotions are not observed until children have a self-concept and an understanding of external expectations*Understanding Emotions- With age, children learn to understand their emotions, identify emotions, know the meanings of emotions- Identifying the emotions of otherso 3 months Distinguish facial expressions of happiness, surprise, and angero 12 months Social referencing- use of other’s facial expression or vocal cues to decide how to deal with novel situationso 16 to 18 months Prefer toys associated with surprise and happy faceso 2 years Label emotions- Children rapidly understand emotions that certain situations will evoke (emotion casual reasoning)o 3 years Identify situations that make people happy4o 4 years Identify situations that make people sado 5 years Identify situations likely to elicit anger, fear, surpriseo 7 years Identify situations likely to elicit self-conscious social emotions (pride, guild, shame, embarrassment, guilt)- 3 yearso Children realize that emotions people express may not reflect true feelings- 5 yearso Greater understanding of false emotions due

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