Approaches to Emotion

By Klaus R. Scherer; Paul Ekman | Go to book overview

6 Emotions in Infancy: Regulators of Contact and Relationships with Persons

Colwyn Trevarthen University of Edinburgh


INTRODUCTION

The study of infants can contribute vital evidence on the nature and function of human emotion. It can help resolve four classical problems which challenge all attempts to understand empathic communication between persons. First, accurate description of the expressive movements of infants can give evidence on the inherent motor coordinating mechanisms of affect and on the process of their development. Second, analysis, both descriptive and experimental, of the changes of affective expression of infants when they are communicating with adults can reveal the extent to which infants are sensitive to emotions of others and able to regulate their own affective states by eliciting supportive responses from others. This leads to analysis of the role of affective communication in the formation and maintenance of relationships between infants and persons with whom they have different degrees of familiarity. Third, developments in expressive behavior may be related to orienting and focusing on objects, interest for the displacements, appearances and disappearances of objects and abilities to grasp, manipulate and combine objects with recreation of experiences, all of which show large and systematic advances in infancy. This comparison between affective and cognitive development may resolve the problem of how the infant gains awareness of persons as entities separate from themselves. Do infants have to build a universal concept of self and object before they can be emotional about their relationships to persons? Or, are persons conceived by a different mechanism from that which masters manipulable objects? Finally, an accurate estimation of the use of emotional expressions in communication by infants of different ages can provide information on the role of language in the formation of emo-

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Approaches to Emotion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xi
  • Questions About Emotion: An Introduction 1
  • References 7
  • 1: BIOLOGICAL APPROACH 9
  • 1: Emotion: A Neurobehavioral Analysis 13
  • References 34
  • 2: Hemispheric Asymmetry and Emotion 39
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 54
  • 3: Contributions from Neuroendocrinology 59
  • References 70
  • II DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACHES 73
  • 5: The Organization of Emotional Development 109
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 127
  • References 127
  • 6: Emotions in Infancy: Regulators of Contact and Relationships with Persons 129
  • Acknowledgments 154
  • III PSYCHOLOGICAL AND ETHOLOGICAL APPROACHES 159
  • 7: Affect Theory 163
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 194
  • References 194
  • 8: Emotions: A General Psychoevolutionary Theory 197
  • References 218
  • 9: Cognition, Emotion and Motivation: The Doctoring of Humpty-Dumpty 221
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 234
  • 10: The Interaction of Affect and Cognition 239
  • 11: Thoughts on the Relations Between Emotion and Cognition 247
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 255
  • References 255
  • 12: On Primacy of Affect 259
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 268
  • 13: A Perceptual Motor Theory of Emotion of Emotion 271
  • References 289
  • 4: On the Nature and Function of Emotion: A Component Process Approach 293
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 315
  • References 316
  • 15: Expression and the Nature of Emotion 319
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 340
  • 16: Animal Communication: Affect or Cognition? 345
  • Acknowledgments 363
  • References 363
  • IV SOCIOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLIGICAL APPROACHES 367
  • 17: Power, Status, and Emotions: A Sociological Contribution to A Psychophysiological Domain 369
  • References 381
  • 18: The Role of Emotion in Social Structure 385
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 396
  • References 396
  • 19: The Emotions in Comparative Perspective 397
  • References 411
  • Author Index 413
  • Subject Index 423
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