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Emotions are tough to define but generally a combination of physiological changes behavior and feelings When we say basic emotions we refer to sadness fear happiness that sort of thing As young as 6 months children are showing primitive emotions like fear specifically stranger wariness which is good Systematic desensitization A way to cure phobias by gradually exposing them until their fears are no longer aroused Complex emotions like pride embarrassment and guilt emerge at about 18 24 months These emotions lead to what we term as self consciousness Unlike basic emotions these complex emotions vary wildly by culture and societies Children who can self soothe calm themselves down when no one else is around do much better than children who cannot self soothe Recognizing and using others emotions is called social referencing It s a way for children to figure out what to do by gauging the reactions of the people around them and it s a skill that emerges at about 1 year of age It s why children are often scared of school if their parents are also nervous about them leaving for school Three theories of emotion Facial Feedback Hypothesis smiling might make you happy James Lange theory body reaction drives emotions Cannon Bard theory body reaction and emotional experience are independent Schachter Singer theory we have a bodily reaction and then our assessment of that bodily reaction drives the emotional experience Misattribution of arousal is an idea that supports the James Lange and Schachter Singer theories For example when someone gets excited because they walked across a bridge then they see someone and their excitement makes them report the person as being more attractive than usual Temperament refers to consistent mood style of behavior and personality This temperament is very resilient no matter the environment they are in These temperaments eventually give rise to personality The big five factors of personality are Easy Difficult Slow to warm up 1 Open 2 Agreeable 3 Neurotic 4 Extraverted 5 Conscientious Attachment styles for children 1 Secture Insecure 2 a Resistant b Avoidant c Disorganized miscellaneous Ainsworth s Caregiving Hypothesis says that you can make your child more secure by being sensitive to their needs having a positive attitude supporting them being emotionally open and intimate with them and having a reciprocal relationship that feels more like equals Plus a major factor determining security for the child and by extension attachment is predictability which seems to indicate kids have an inner working model of life and people

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Purdue PSY 23500 - Chapter 11 Child Psychology

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