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Title: Young infants are capable of 'non-basic' emotions.
Author: Draghi-Lorenz, Riccardo.
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2001
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According to most developmental psychologists 'non-basic' emotions such as jealousy, pride, empathic concern and guilt do not emerge before the second year of life, despite limited evidence for this proposition. Critical examination of the major theories of emotional development reveals (i) that this belief stems from the assumption that young infants are incapable of interpersonal awareness, and (ii) that this incapacity is invariably explained in terms of lack of representational skills. Three studies are presented investigating the possibility that, in fact, young infants are capable of these emotions. The first is a study of 37 adults' perceptions of an expression resembling adult expressions of shyness and embarrassment which is displayed in infants as young as two or three months during positive interactions (Reddy, 2000). The second is an experimental study of jealousy of the mother's loving attention in 24 five-months old infants. The third is a longitudinal study of 6 infants through their first year of life employing a bottom-up methodology to explore a wide range of 'non-basic' emotions, their developmental course, and the determinants of this course. On the whole, results from these studies suggest that: (i) infants are indeed capable of a large number and possibly all 'non-basic' emotion, (ii) the age of first emergence and the frequency of later occurrence of these emotions can vary widely across infants, and (iii) their development is context-related rather than age-related. These results are explained by calling upon relational approaches that do not set a cut-off age for the emergence of early interpersonal awareness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Jealousy; Pride; Empathy; Embarrassment Psychology Sociology Human services