ERIC Number: ED196530
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Decoding Children's Expressions of Affect.
Feinman, Joel A.; Feldman, Robert S.
Mothers' ability to decode the emotional expressions of their male and female children was compared to the decoding ability of non-mothers. Happiness, sadness, fear and anger were induced in children in situations that varied in terms of spontaneous and role-played encoding modes. It was hypothesized that mothers would be more accurate decoders of their children than the non-mothers. It was also expected that emotional expressions of female children would be decoded more easily than those of male children, and that positive affect would be more easily decoded than negative affect. Twenty-four children (12 male and 12 female), their mothers, and 24 matched non-mothers were recruited for the study. Children viewed slides and listened to corresponding narratives depicting scenarios such as a birthday party, a lost dog, and a false accusation. Spontaneous and role-playing behaviors were then observed by the mothers and non-mothers. It was found that the pattern of decoding accuracy differed for mothers and non-mothers. Mothers were able to accurately decode expressions of happiness, but had relative difficulty in decoding expressions of sadness, fear and anger. The pattern of decoding accuracy for non-mothers was such that no affect was decoded at greater than chance levels. Decoding accuracy also differed according to the sex of the encoding child. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Decoding (Behavior); Encoding
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).