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The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Manfred Holodynski Universität Bielefeld Conference Emotions: Synthesizers.

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Presentation on theme: "The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Manfred Holodynski Universität Bielefeld Conference Emotions: Synthesizers."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Manfred Holodynski Universität Bielefeld Conference Emotions: Synthesizers of Culture and Biology Interdisciplinary Approaches March , 2004 Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

2 The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Manfred Holodynski 1.Problem: How far are emotions culturally shaped? 2.Two controversial positions 3.The benefits of a developmental analysis of emotions 4.How culture enters into emotional development Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

3 How far are emotions culturally shaped? The strong biological position Position: There is a biologically based set of basic emotions such as fear, anger, joy, interest, sadness, disgust. Every emotion has a particular adaptive function appraisal of a situation in relation to personal motive elicitation of a motive-serving action readiness Action readinesses are fixed reaction syndroms of expression, body reaction and feeling (Ekman, 1972; Izard, 1977; Panksepp, 1998) Empirical evidence: Set of basic emotions are universal for all human beings in every culture Some emotions are shared with mammals Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

4 How far are emotions culturally shaped? The strong biological position Position: There is a biologically based set of basic emotions such as fear, anger, joy, interest, sadness, disgust. Every emotion has a particular adaptive function appraisal of a situation in relation to personal motive elicitation of a motive-serving action readiness Action readinesses are fixed reaction syndroms of expression, body reaction and feeling (Ekman, 1972; Izard, 1977; Panksepp, 1998) Arguments and empirical evidence: Set of basic emotions are universal for all human beings in every culture Intercultural studies (e.g. Ekman); Developmental studies (Izard, ?) Some emotions are shared with mammals FEAR, RAGE, PANIC, SEEKING, CARE, LUST, PLAY (Panksepp, 1998): Similarities in brain areas (limbic system), adaptive functions and in expressive patterns and their meaning Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

5 How far are emotions culturally shaped? The strong cultural position Position: Human beings are able to use symbols. This enables them to create, adopt, and modify meaning systems that are handed down from one generation to the next. The adaptive function of emotions (appraisal and action readiness) depends on these culturally evolved meaning systems. Therefore, emotions are culturally learned reaction syndroms (Averill, 1986; Harré, 1986). Empirical evidence: The failure to find convergencies between expression, body reaction, and feeling The diversity of culture specific emotions Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

6 How far are emotions culturally shaped? The strong cultural position Position: Human beings are able to use symbols. This enables them to create, adopt, and modify meaning systems that are handed down from one generation to the next. The adaptive function of emotions (appraisal and action readiness) depends on these culturally evolved meaning systems. Therefore, emotions are culturally learned reaction syndroms (Averill, 1986; Harré, 1986). Arguments and empirical evidence: The failure to find convergencies between expression, body reaction, and feeling (e.g. amusement: Fridlund, 1991; surprise: Reisenzein, 2001; studies on infants: Camras, 1992; toddlers: Demos, 1982) The diversity of culture specific emotions (e.g. intercultural studies: romantic love in Western cultures: Averill & Nunley, 1992; the descent of grace in the early Puritans of North America: Rothman, 1984; amae in Japan: Doi, 1974; fago of the Ifaluk in Sibiria: Lutz, 1987; Vergüenza ajena in Spain: Iglesias, 1996) Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

7 On the path toward integrative models of emotion One problem and a strategy for solving it State of the art: Both extrem positions symplify the relations between the biological and cultural aspects of adult emotions. This requires the construction of more complex models on adult emotion. Methodological problem: Complex models contain so many degrees of freedom that they can be made to fit (almost) any empirical data. How can we test complex psychological models? One strategy to solve the problem: A developmental analysis of ontogenesis as a strategy to test complex models on adult emotion. Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

8 A selection of complex models on emotion Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

9 On the path toward integrative models on emotion What are the benefits of a developmental analysis of emotions? Every complex structure of emotions assumed in adults must be the product of an ontogenetic development, and must have emerge from a comparably simple structure in neonates. One can observe which feature is an initial one and which an evolved one. One can observe how far initial features continue to exist in the evolved structure. A successful empirical reconstruction of the development is also a proof for the adult model of emotion. Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

10 A developmental analysis of emotions Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

11 A developmental analysis of emotions 1. Precursor emotions of neonates Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

12 1. Precursor emotions in neonates Why they are not fully functioning emotions Distress Pleasure Interest Fearful tentionDisgust Features of neonates‘ precursor emotions (Sroufe, 1996): Triggered by absolute physical stimulus thresholds - not by any attributions of meaning like emotions Expressive and body reactions are not coordinated with cause and context - an emotion is directed toward its cause and consists of a fine-tuned expression. Long onset and offset - emotions are triggered promptly Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

13 1. Precursor emotions in neonates A lexicon of expression signs Adapted from Wierzbicka (1999, chapter 4) and expanded Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

14 1. Precursor emotions in neonates Their function: They regulate the actions of caregivers Interpersonal regulation Intrapersonal regulation Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

15 1. Precursor emotions in neonates Function of Expressions: Signs refering to emotions Meaning Object 1.Feeling state/appraisal 2.Action readiness Sign Appeal The other should act: Help me, I am helpless! Symptom 1.I feel bad 2.I‘ll continue crying Expressivepattern Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

16 1. Precursor emotions of neonates How does emotions emerge from precursor emotions? Distress Endogenes Smile Interest Fearful tension Disgust Maturation ? Coregulation between child and caregiver ! Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression Affection Anger PrideEmbarrassment

17 A developmental analysis of emotions 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions (0 - 3 years) Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

18 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions Coregulation between caregiver and child Coregulation between caregiver‘s intuitive parenting (Papoušek & Papoušek, 1987) and child‘s contingency learning: 1.Infant/caregiver arranges situations in which the infant can have new experiences. 2.Infant appraises the novel situation only generally and react with some uncoordinated body reactions and expressions. 3.Caregiver interprets infant‘s expression as sign referring to emotions. 4.She acts on behalf of her infant in line with her interpretation. 5.Infants are sensitive toward temporal, sensory, and spatial contingencies. 6.Infant combines particular cause, expression, and impact on caregiver to form a particular emotion with well-coordinated expression signs. Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

19 Study on 1-, 4- and 7-month-old babies, whose arms were restrained (Stenberg and Campos, 1990) 1-month-old: distress –Series of undifferentiated negative facial expressions before starting to cry –Unfocused gaze behavior, closed eyes while crying –Long onset and offset after letting go of the arms 4-month-old: frustration –(able to infer cause-effect relations) –Head and gaze directed toward the face or hand of the person restraining the arm –Drawn eyebrows, open rectangular mouth, and then crying –Medium onset and offset 7-month-old: anger –(able to ascribe intentions to others) –Like 4-month-old, plus –Gaze shifted from the hand to attendant mother (call for assistance) –Prompt onset and offset 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions The differentiation of distress expressions Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

20 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions How culture enters into emotions: The symbolization of expression Meaning Object 1.Appraisal 2.Action readiness Sign Appeal The other should act: Hold off! Give way! Symptom 1.I feel threatened 2.I am ready to attack Symbol I act as if this is the way it is Expressivepattern Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

21 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions Culturally evolved lexicon of expression signs Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression Expression symbols can be modified in line with the formation of new emotional appraisals and action readinesses. Expression signs are iconically coded - the sign is similar to its meaning. Culturally evolved expression symbols can be handed down to the next generation.

22 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions Symbolization of expression signs The interplay between affect attunement and imitative learning (Stern, 1992; Gergely & Watson, 1999): 1.Caregiver mirrors infant‘s expression in a symbolized manner (affect attunement). Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression 2.Infants are able to imitate their caregivers‘ expressions. 3.Affect attunement functions like „biofeedback“ training: Infant develops a sensitivity to connecting symbolized expressions with the appraised cause and his own expressions and feelings 4.Effect: Use of expression signs as symbols as in emotional referencing.

23 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions Emotional referencing: Using expressions as symbols Studies on infants from 10 month onward (Klinnert et al., 1983; Walden, 1991) Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

24 Caregivers can choose situations in which children can make new emotion related experiences. Caregivers interpret infants‘ expressions and react in line with culturally (but also individually) shaped experiences and norms. Caregivers can choose which expressions they will ignore and which they will mirror. To some extent, they can choose the actions with which they will react to the infant‘s expression signs. Effect: an over- or underrepresentation of particular expressions and their corresponding emotions in children from particular cultures. 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions How culture enters into emotions Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

25 2. Emergence of culturally shaped emotions The emergence of emotions in Western cultures Newborn0 - 1 year1 - 3 years3 - 6 yearsAdult Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression adopted from Sroufe (1996) and supplemented

26 A development analysis of emotions 3. Emergence of intrapersonal out of interpersonal regulation (2 - 6 years) Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

27 3. Emergence of intrapersonal out of interpersonal regulation Differentiation of sign use In fact, the general course of emotional development may be described as movement from dyadic regulation to self-regulation of emotion. (Sroufe, 1996, p. 151) Infant Adult Cause Feeling Expression Appraisal Action Body react. Interpersonal regulation Intrapersonal regulation Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression Action

28 3. Emergence of intrapersonal out of interpersonal regulation A longitudinal study of preschoolers Longitudinal study of 18 children from 4 to 6 years (Holodynski & Upmann, 2003) Induction of disappointment in a solitary situation Child‘s action Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

29 A developmental analysis of emotions Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

30 The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Conclusions 1.A developmental analysis of emotions: A strategy to test complex models of emotions 2.Biological inheritance:  Precursor emotions of neonates designed for  interpersonal regulation  use as signs  Infant‘s capacity to detect contingencies  Infant‘s capacity for imitative learning  Caregiver‘s intuitive parenting  Sensitivity to the appeal function of expression signs  Affect attunement of infant‘s emotion (mirroring infant‘s expression in a symbolized manner) Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

31 The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Conclusions 3.Cultural inheritance:  Intrapersonal regulation of actions in adults through emotions emerges from interpersonal regulation in childhood.  Features of interpersonal regulation continue to exist in intrapersonal regulation in adults:  Expressions are used predominantly as signs.  Expression signs refer to particular emotional appraisals and action readinesses  Expression signs have an appeal function To others in interpersonal regulation To oneself in intrapersonal regulation Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

32 The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Conclusions 3.Cultural inheritance:  Expression signs are the gate culture enters into emotional processing:  They can be transformed into symbols.  Cultural plane: Symbolization permits the formation of culturally shaped emotions. Mechanism: Formation of new expression symbols in line with the formation of new emotional appraisals and action readinesses (e. g. kneeling to express humility)  Individual plane: Acquisition of culturally shaped expressions and their meaning is the way in which persons learn culturally shaped emotions.  Acquisition takes places in coregulation between caregiver and child from the first day of life onward. Mechanisms: Synchronization of cause, expression and actions Interplay between caregiver‘s affect attunement and child‘s imitative learning Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression

33 The Development of Emotion and Expression. From Biological to Cultural Inheritance Manfred Holodynski: The Development of Emotion and Expression Thank you very much for your attention!

34 Infant Adult A Developmental Analysis of Emotions Feelings derived from internal feedback of expression and body reactions (Damasios somatic marker concept) Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung Some evidence for a somatic marker concept of feeling: Phenomenologically, feelings consist of bodily and expressive sensations (James, 1890) Developmental perspective: Expressive sensations from interpersonal regulation can also be used for intrapersonal regulation Evolution of the feeling system: A feedback system is a more parsimonious construction Expression and impression draw on the same expressive sensations (affect attunement: Stern, 1992; motor mimikry: Hatfield, Cacioppo & Rapson, 1994) Damage to somatosensory brain regions impairs the experience of feelings (Damasio, 1994) Cause Feeling Expression Appraisal Feeling Expression AppraisalAction Body react.

35 4. Emergence of feelings without (objective) expressions The phenomenon This person is alone and she feels happy - but one cannot observe any signs of happiness (!) Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung

36 4. Emergence of feelings without (objective) expressions The explanation 1.In interpersonal regulation, signs need to be perceivable to other people in order to appeal to them. 2.In intrapersonal regulation, signs do not need to be perceivable to others. Appealing to oneself is possible only through mental signs such as an inner smile or a special body sensation. 3.Signs can change their form without changing their meaning and function. The written word “expression” and the spoken word “expression“: different form, but the same meaning. 4.In intrapersonal regulation, signs adapt their form to their new intrapersonal function: materialized expressions  miniaturized expressions  mental expressions. 5.In the development of speech signs, such a miniaturization effect has been verified sufficiently (first reported by Vygotskij, 1934; Bivens & Berk, 1990): communicative speech  private speech  inner speech Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung

37 4. Emergence of feelings without (objective) expressions Study 1: Method Hypotheses One can observe a miniaturization of emotional expression from 6-years- old to 8-years-old. Participants 20 6-year-olds, 20 7-year-olds and year-olds (balanced for boys and girls) Design Age: 6, 7, 8 years old Emotion: Joy and disappointment Context: Solitary and social condition Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung

38 Social Condition Solitary Condition 4. Emergence of feelings without (objective) expressions Study 1: Expression of Disappointment in 6- and 7-years-old

39 Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung 4. Emergence of feelings without (objective) expressions Study 1: Results for joy and disappointment (Holodynski, 2004)

40 4. Emergence of Feelings Without (Objective) Expressions Study 2: Internalization or Miniaturization? Internalization of expression signs People refer to subjectively experienced signs of expression also in those cases, in which outsiders cannot observe any expression processes (mental expression signs). Participants 12 female and 12 male college students Experimental procedure Induction of relaxation via an imagination task Induction of joy (of meeting again) and pride (in success) via an imagination task Analysis of expressive behavior Videotape of facial and body expression during emotion episodes and relaxation episodes Groups of 10 naive judges observed the facial and body expression videos They judged kind of observed emotion (joy, neutral, or pride) intensity of expression Analysis of subjectively experienced signs accompanying emotions Semistandardized interview asking Expressive movements and speech Action readiness Body sensations

41 Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung 4. Emergence of Feelings Without (Objective) Expressions Study 2: Internalization or Miniaturization? (von Olberg, 1999) Emotional episode feltJoy (of meeting again)Pride (in success) Judged emotional expression (by 10 observers) Joy n = 9 Neutral n = 15 Pride/Joy n = 1 / 3 Neutral n = 20 Judged intensity of expression (scale ranged form 0 to 9) M = 2.1M = 0.3M = 2.5 / 1.1M = 0.4 Self rating of felt intensity (scale ranged form 0 to 9) M = 6.1M = 5.9M = 7.0 / 6.3M = 6.3

42 Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung Percentage of persons with no expression of joy (n = 15) or pride (n = 20) as a function of the reported sign of experience 4. Emergence of Feelings Without (Objective) Expressions Study 2: Internalization or Miniaturization?

43 Manfred Holodynski: Internalisierungsmodell der emotionalen Entwicklung Participants 42 women from Spain 37 women from Eastwestfalia Diary Design Document all emotion episodes within a day for 4 days of a week Measurement Quality, intensity of expression Quality, intensity of feeling Context Control of expression 4. Emergence of Feelings Without (Objective) Expressions Study 3: Diary Study in „Eastwestfalia and Southern Spain


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