Developmental E

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Primary and secondary emotion

  • primary (basic) emotions
  • > at birth: contentment, interest, distress, disgust
  • > 4-8 weeks: pleasure/social smile
  • 2-7 months: anger, sadness, surprise, fear
  • secondary (complex) emotions: end of second year and beyond
  • > embarrassment, shame, guilt, envy, pride

Understanding emotions

  • when children start to speak about emotions and use their emotional words, we have better knowledge of their emotional understanding
  • emotional words used as young as 18 months, with increase in first year
  • however, this could be that children learn scripts for how to behave/react
  • emotional conflicts (mixed emotions) not understood at 6 years old

Emotional display rules 1

  • learnt rules
  • acceptable vs. unacceptable
  • change over time
  • how do they develop?
  • > social training - mothers display positive emotions in play, adults respond selectively to babies' emotional displays

Emotional display rules 2

  • results of social training: socially acceptable emotional displays shaped from early on
  • > takes time to learn emotional display rules
  • > 3 year olds have some ability to disguise…


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