Development of Emotion Based on Culture for Infants and Toddlers Essay

Development of Emotion Based on Culture for Infants and Toddlers Essay

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Among all different developmental fields, emotional expression plays a very important role for people to understand infants and toddlers’ feelings before they can express their thoughts accurately by language communication. In simple words, emotion means the rapid appraisal of the personal significance of the situation, which prepares people for action. For example, happiness, interest, surprise, fear, anger, and sadness are the six basic emotions in humans (Berk, 2012); people can easily identify one’s emotional state by observing his or her facial expression in many situations. Although the expression of emotion is universal, much research shows that emotional development can vary quite a bit by culture.
According to Camras et al. (1998), emotion expression is different in European American, Japanese, and Chinese infants. In the research, they selected infants that were 11-month-old from three different cultural groups, and each group was divided equally by gender. Each baby was going to wear lightweight clothing and participate in three procedures (arm restraint, vanishing toy, and growing gorilla) during the experiment. The infants’ facial expressions were going to code with the Baby Facial Action Coding System (BabyFACS), which is an anatomically based coding system that describes facial movement in babies. All procedures were recorded by two camcorders; one of them was showing only a close-up view of infant’s face; another one was showing a wide-angle view of infant’s whole body movement (Camras et al., 1998).
After the three dependant variables (facial movement time, expression variability, and expression lability) were analyzed, the researchers found that Chinese infants were the least expressive when compared to Europe...


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...ferences of emotional expression among different cultures. Most of the people generally agree that children who grew up in Asian culture will tend to control their negative emotions and have less facial expressivity; while the children who grew up in Western culture are more willing to express their feelings directly and have greater facial expressivity. Although the studies mentioned above showed the cultural influences in emotional development, participants were all from normal family (with two parents). Future study may also try to explore the cultural influences in emotional expression by studying children from single parent family; furthermore, there may also be differences in emotional development if children are growing up with siblings or pets. Child is a little creature that full of possibility; future research may explore more unknown sides of the children.

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