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Module Objectives
Chapter 9
Why do people have emotions?
At what ages do children begin to
experience and express different
What is attachment?
When do children begin to understand
other peoples emotions?

Andriea was so excited to meet

her 7-month-old nephew Colin.
She rushed up to him while he
was playing on the floor with his
truck and swept him up in a big
hug. After a brief, confused look,
Colin burst into angry tears, as if
to say who are you? Put me down
right now!
Think on your own
Identify some of the emotions Colin may
have felt. Also, what emotions could
Andreia have felt?

Expressing Emotions
When reviewing the situation with
Colin and Andreia joy, anger and
surprise all appeared. These are
considered basic emotions
Emotion is the language of a person's
mental state of being, they are tied to
the person's internal (physical) and
external (social) sensory feeling.

Why do people feel


Modern research suggests that emotions

are useful because they help people adapt
to their environment (Izard & Ackerman,
For example, youre walking down a dark
street late one night. You become
frightenedhow does this affect your
The fear is adaptive because it allows you
to organize your behavior around an
important goal- avoiding danger.

Basic Emotions
Joy, anger, surprise, interest, disgust,
distress, sadness and fear are all
classified as basic emotions
(Dragh-Lorenz, 2001).
Basic emotions are experienced by
people worldwide and each consists
of three elements:

A subjective feeling
A physiological change
An overt behavior

For example- you wake to

the sound of a
thunderstorm and then
discover your roommate
took your umbrella.
Subjectively you might be angry,
physiologically your heart might be
beating faster and overtly you might
be scowling

How can we determine

emotions in infants?
Facial expressions provide
important clues about which
emotion the child is experiencing
but they are only one component
of emotion

Identify the Correct


How did you do?







Facial Expressions
Do facial expressions accurately reflect an infants
emotional state?
YES! Research has shown that infants (and adults)
worldwide express basic emotions in the same
Humans have universal emotional expression,
which suggests that we are biologically
programmed to express emotions in a specific way.

Development of Basic Emotions

Infants experience only two general
pleasure and distress.
This will rapidly change and more
discrete emotions will develop, by 9
months infants are thought to
experience all basic emotions.

Positive Emotions

First month reflex response
By 6 weeks the social smile appears
By 7 months smiles toward people;
encourages interaction and bonding

By 3 to 4 months during activities
(i.e., playing)
By 1 year response to unexpected
By 2 years response to own behavior
or attempting to make others laugh

Reflexive Smile in a
Sleeping Newborn

Social Smile in an
8-Month-Old Infant

Negative Emotions

Generalized distress
Newborns hunger, pain, overstimulation

Anger and/or sadness

2 months visible facial expression
matches situation

Fear and/or distress

6-7 months to 2 years stranger wariness
7 to 12 months fear of novel toys,
noises, sudden movements
8 to 15 months separation anxiety

Stranger Wariness
The emotion of fear is fully developed by 9
months and is expressed in two ways:

Stranger wariness
Separation anxiety

Stranger wariness is the distress that

young children experience when they are
exposed to people who are unfamiliar to
When a stranger approaches, a typical 6month-old looks away and begins to fuss.
This begins somewhere between 8-9
months of age
reaching its peak at 12-15 months.

Stranger Wariness
At this time infants begin to realize that
all people are not the same, and that the
relationship they have with their primary
caregivers is special.
How wary an infant feels around
strangers depends on a number of
Infants tend to be less fearful of

When the environment is familiar

If infants are given time to warm up to
the strangers
Who are female than those who are male

Stranger Wariness
Stranger anxiety is adaptive because it
emerges at the same time that the child
is being to master crawling

Being wary of strangers provides a natural

restraint and makes the infant less likely to
wander away from familiar caregivers

Stranger anxiety gradually declines as

infants learn to interpret facial

Separation Anxiety
This is the intense fear or anxiety that occurs
when a parent or caregiver leaves the child

This typically develops around the same time as

object permanence and is universal across

Infants growing cognitive skills allow them to

ask questions with no readily apparent

Why is my mother leaving?

Where is she going?
Will she come back?

Development of Complex

In addition to the basic emotions,

people feel complex emotions such
as embarrassment, pride, guilt and
These are known as self-conscious
emotions that involve feelings of
success whens standards are met
and feelings of failure when they are

Research suggests that

these complex emotions
depend on the child having
self-awareness and
consciousness of adult
reactions (Lewis, 2000).
These complex emotions
usually develop between 18
months and 3 years

A foundation for emotional development
is the realization that we are distinct
individuals- separate from other people.

The emerging sense of me and

mine fosters self-conscious emotions.

The onset of self-awareness is evident

when infants of various ages are

Very young infants have no sense of

self. It is theorized that for the first 4
months, infants see themselves as part
of their mothers (Mahler et al., 1975)

Later developments
As children grow they continue to
experience basic and complex emotions
but are elicited by different situations and
The cognitive growth elementary school
children have means they experience
shame and guilt in situations they would
not have as preschool children (Reimer,

Example: unlike preschool children, many

school-age children would be ashamed if they
neglected to defend a classmate who was
wrongfully accused of theft.

Identifying Emotions in

By 4 to 7 months infants begin to

distinguish facial expressions
associated with different emotions.

Infants can distinguish a happy,

smiling face from a sad, frowning
face- but they may not understand
the emotional significance
(Ludemann, 1991).

How can we tell whether infants

understand the emotions
expressed in a face?
The best evidence of this is that infants
often match their own emotions to other
peoples emotions (Walker-Andrews, 2001).

When happy mothers smile and talk in a

pleasant voice infants express happiness

When mothers are angry or sad infants

become distressed

Twenty-three-month-old Stephanie
watches as her older brother Erik and his
friend Leo argue loudly with each other
and begin to wrestle. Uncertain of what
is happening, Stephanie glances at her
mother. Her mother, though, wears a
smile, knowing that Erik and Leo are just
playing. On seeing her mothers
reaction, Stephanie smiles too,
mimicking her mothers facial

Social Referencing
By the end of the first year,
infants in an unfamiliar or
ambiguous environment often
look at their mother/father as if
searching for cues to help them
interpret the situation.
At this age, infants generally use
parents emotional signals to
guide their interpretations of, and
reactions to, potentially upsetting
or dangerous events and objects.

Parents influence how the

child perceives a new
If the parent looks afraid when
shown a novel object, 12-montholds are less likely to play with the
toy than if a parent looks happy
(Repacholi, 1998).

Also, social referencing shows that

infants are remarkable skilled at
using their parents emotions to
direct their own behavior.

As their cognitive skills continue to grow,

children begin to understand why people feel
as they do.

Example: a kindergarten child knows that

unpleasant events often make a person
sad or angry (Levine, 1995)

Children at this age also know that they

more often feel sad when they think about
the undesirable event itself
They can understand that remembering a
past sad event can make a person unhappy
(Lagattuta, 1997).

Display Rules
A social groups informal norms about
when, where, and how much one should
show emotions and when and where
displays of emotions should be
suppressed or masked by displays of
other emotions

Prosocial motive
Using verbal or facial display rules to
protect someone elses feelings

Self-protective motive
Using verbal or facial display rules to
protect their own feelings

Example of display rule:

Children in the US learn that
they are supposed to express
happiness or gratitude when
they receive a gift from
grandma, and by all means, to
suppress any disappointment
they may feel should the gift
turn out to be pink fuzzy
footed pajamas.

Display Rules Continued

Same for boys and girls NO

In elementary school in the US:

Girls believe that it is more acceptable to express

emotions like pain whereas boys do not
Girls are more attuned than boys to the need to
inhibit emotional displays that may hurt someone
elses feelings

Children seem to be attuned to display

rules if they are valued in their culture or
if an awareness of them serves an
important function in the family

Think on Your Own

Recall a recent situation in which
you engaged in social referencing.

Why did you look to the reactions

of others to determine your own
reaction to the situation?
Did you use display rules? Why?

If you didnt -should you have?

Identifying Emotions
By age 3, children have the ability
to label a few emotional

Best at labeling happiness

The ability to label anger, fear, and

sadness gradually appears between the
ages of 4-6

The ability to label pride, shame, and guilt

gradually appears between the ages of 8-9

Between the ages of 4-8,

children have the ability to
label others emotions by
their body movements
-Four-year-olds good at sad movements

-Five-year-olds good at sad, fear, and

happy movements
-Eight-year-olds good at sad, fear, happy,
and anger movements

Measure of Childrens Ability

to Label Others Emotions
Children are
asked to view
pictures like
these and
identify the
emotions of
the characters.
With age,
children can
better identify

The school age child

Elementary school children begin to
comprehend that people can have mixed
By about 8 yrs. children can realize how
people can feel good and bad at the same
time, which coincides with concrete
operational thinking.
A child recognizes that a situation can
produce two opposing feelings

For example- A child can be happy and scared

about staying home alone.

What was Your first


The first special

relationship we experience
develops between parent
and child
It is believed that this relationship
will influence the development of our
future relationships

What is Attachment?
Attachment is an enduring emotional connection
A close emotional bond that is person-specific
and is enduring across time and space.
Infants show their attachment through proximityseeking behaviors, meaning infants (and adults)
like to be near those we are attached.
Actions such as approaching, following, and
climbing into the lap demonstrate the need to be
physically close. As well as contact-maintaining
behaviors such as clinging, resisting being put
down all are evidence of attachment.

Think on Your Own

Who are you attached to?
List 5 people and reflect on why that
relationship involves attachment

Harry Harlow (1959)

The Monkey Love experiments
Harlow evaluated
whether feeding or
contact comfort
was more
important to infant
The young animals
were raised by
two kinds of
surrogate monkey
mother machines.
One mother was
made of soft terry
cloth, the other
made of wire mesh

Monkey Love

Harlow's monkey studies

demonstrated that the need for
affection created a stronger
bond between mother and infant
than did physical needs (food).

Monkey Love

Harlows work suggested that the

development of a childs love for
their caregiver was emotional
rather than physiological
Attachment was closely associated
with critical periods in early life,
after which it was difficult or
impossible to compensate for the
loss of initial emotional security.

What happened to these

Monkeys raised without their mothers
or other monkeys were socially
maladjusted the rest of their lives.

When confronted with fear, they displayed

autistic and institutionalized behaviors-throwing
themselves on the floor, clutched themselves,
rocked back and forth, and screamed in terror.

They were incapable of having sexual

relations and they were also unable to
parent their offspring, either abusing or
neglecting them.

What does this mean for


Harlow showed that the development of

attachment was closely associated with
critical periods in early life, after which it
was difficult or impossible to compensate
for the loss of initial emotional security
Further experiments in which abusive
conditions were created showed that no
matter how abusive the mothers were, the
baby monkeys always came back and
displayed affection towards them.

Even in the face of abuse, the need for

love was overwhelming

Do we all need attachment and

physical contact?
Yes, according the theories of
John Bowlby (1969, 1991), that
children who form an attachment
to an adult are more likely to
Attachment not only deepens the
parent-child relationship, but may
have contributed to human

Bowlbys Attachment

According to Bowlby, the

development of attachment takes
place in four phases:

Clear-cut (or True) Attachment
Reciprocal Relationships

Birth to 6 weeks

The infant produces innate signals

(crying, clinging, smiling, or sucking)
that bring others to his/her side and the
infant is comforted by these
The infants behaviors and the
response they evoke from adults create
an interactive system that is the first
step in the formation of attachment.

6 weeks to 6-8 months

Infants begin to respond

preferentially to familiar people

Infants are forming expectations about

how their caregivers will respond to
their needs, and as a result, develop
(or not) a sense of trust in them

Clear-cut Attachment
6-8 months to 1.5-2 years
By 7-8 months, infants have singles out the attachment
figure, usually the mother, as a special person.

The mother now serves as a secure base

Infants actively seek contact with their caregivers

They happily greet their mother when she appears
They may exhibit separation anxiety when she

This behavior reflects cognitive growth as well. The

infant now has a mental representation of mother
and an understanding that she will be there to meet
the infants needs.

Reciprocal Relationships
1.5-2 years and beyond

As the cognitive and language abilities of

toddlers increase, they being to
understand their parents feelings, goals
and motives

They are better able to act as partners in the

attachment relationship

They often take initiative in interactions and

negotiate with parents

They cope with separation more effectively

because they can now anticipate the return.

The Quality of Attachment

Based on how the infant reacts to
separation from the caregiver and
the reunion by using a procedure
known as the Strange Situation.
Ainsworth (1993) and others have
identified 4 basic types of
attachment relationships

Strange Situation


Attachment Behavior

Caregiver/Child enter


Caregiver/Child alone

Caregiver as a secure base

Stranger enters

Reaction to stranger

Child and Stranger

Separation anxiety and

stranger comfort

Caregiver returns

Reunion reaction

Child alone

Separation anxiety

Stranger enters

Stranger comfort

Caregiver returns

Reunion reaction

Ainsworths Three
Attachment Categories

Secure Attachment





Classifications of Infant












High or Low






High or Low



(often preseparation)



Moderate to

Types of Attachment
Secure attachment is a relationship of trust
and confidence.

The baby may or may not cry when the mother

leaves, but when she returns, the baby wants to
be with her and if the baby is crying, the baby

During infancy this relationship provides a

secure base for exploration of the

This group seems to say I missed you terribly, but

now that youre back, Im okay.
60-65% of American children have secure
attachment relationships (Kail, 2007).

A secure attachment
relationship is likely to
develop when parents
respond to their infants
needs reliably and

3 Types of Insecure Attachment

A relationship that is unstable or
unpredictable, characterized by the infants
fear, anxiety, anger or indifference toward
the caregiver
Insecure-Avoidant attachment:
A pattern of insecure attachment in which
infants or young children seem somewhat
indifferent toward their caregivers and may
even avoid their caregivers

The baby is not upset when the mother leaves,

and, when she returns, may ignore her by looking
or turning away

If they do get upset when

left alone, they are as easily
comforted by a stranger as
by a parent.
As if to say, you left me again,
I always have to take care of
20% of American infant have
avoidant- attachment

Resistant/ambivalent Attachment
A pattern of insecure attachment in which
infants or young children are clingy and
stay close to their caregivers rather than
exploring their environment.
The baby is upset when the mother
leaves and remains upset or even angry
when she returns, and is difficult to

Because the child cant depend on the

parent for attunement and connection,
he develops a sense of anxiety and
feelings of insecurity

Insecure Attachments


Disorganized attachment is a pattern of

insecure attachment in which infants or
young children have no consistent way to
coping with the stress of the Strange
The baby seems confused when the mother
leaves and, when she returns, seems as if
the baby doesnt really understand whats
happeningwhats going on here?

They want to approach their mother, but

they also seem to regard her as a source
of fear from which they want to withdraw

Disorganized Attachment
Disorganized attachment leads to
difficulties in the regulation of
emotions, social communication,
academic reasoning as well as to
more severe emotional problems.
This type of attachment occurs when
the childs need for emotional
closeness remains unseen or ignored.
Less than 5% of middle-class
Americans fall into this category.

This rate is considerably higher in

samples in which parents are having
difficulties with their own working models
of attachment.

Identify the Attachment


A baby in this group might say I missed you

terribly, but now that youre back, Im okay.
A baby in this group might say You left me
again. I always have to take care of myself.
A baby in this group might say Why do you do
this? I get so angry when youre like this.

How Did You Do?

A baby in this group might say I missed
you terribly, but now that youre back,
Im okay.
A baby in this group might say You left
me again. I always have to take
care of
A baby in this group might say Why do
you do this? I get so angry when
like this.

Infants develop an Internal

working model, which are a
set of expectations about
parents availability and

Adult Attachment
Adult attachment models are based
on adults perceptions of their own
childhood relationships with their
parents and of the continuing
influence of those relationships

Autonomous or Secure



of parents is
a significant
factor in the
styles of

Securely attached infants

appear to grow up to be
better adjusted and more
socially skilled than
insecurely attached