“Emotional Development” is an article written by Janice Zeman. This article explains the different stages of emotions found in adolescence. The study of emotional development is not a popular area to experiment on because it is difficult to determine inner emotions. Zeman descibes different studies and theories of emotional development and behavior throughout children’s different stages of life. All the theories are different but answer the same question; Are emotions learned or biologically pre-determined?
The problem with observing younger children is that you can not study inner emotions or experiences, so scientists monitor and interpret facial expressions. Facial expressions appear intuitively but scientists are not sure whether infants actually experience emotions or if the facial expressions are learned from their parents. Within six to ten months, a baby will show a smile and determining on the parent’s reinforcement than the baby will smile more or less. After the first smile it is easier for the infant to show other types of emotions. Caregivers interact with the baby with slow and exaggerated motions; the interaction between the baby and their guardian is how the baby expresses their emotions. As the infant is able to express their own emotions, they will be able to recognize emotions of others. At this point it is still unclear to scientists whether infants express their own emotions or if they are imitating their guardian’s emotions.
When a child turns 2, that is when they learn to express shame, embarassment, empathy and pride. However, these emotions are learned from their culture and enviroment. Children at the age of 2 learn to show that they are under distress by physical contact with thir guardian. When guardians use comforting language towards a child under distress, it allows the child to regulate their negative emotions and helps them calm down.
Zeman explains Carolyn Saarni’s types of emotional...