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ERIC Number: ED257571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Understanding of Emotion and the Understanding of Relationships.
Saarni, Carolyn
The first part of this paper discusses presentations by other symposium participants which addressed different facets of the developmental paths involved in understanding one's own emotional states, the emotional states of others, why one feels what one does, and whether or not one shows these feelings expressively to others. It is the premise of this paper that children's understanding of their emotional experience goes hand in hand with their understanding of social relations. The second part of the paper describes a study of how children conceptualize management of emotional expressiveness as a strategy for influencing interpersonal transactions. Thirty-two middle class children, relatively evenly distributed across grades 2, 5, and 8 and by gender, were interviewed regarding their understanding of how emotional displays would be perceived by others. They also were asked if they thought children their own age and gender were more likely to show their real feelings to their peers or to adults. This question was followed by another asking the reason for their choice. Results indicate that children in this age span of about 7.5 to 13.5 years clearly recognize that emotional-expressive behavior impacts on others, whether it be genuine or dissembled expressive displays. Given such awareness of the communicative significance of emotional displays, they are also able to articulate who is the safer audience for seeing the genuine emotional display. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the symposium on children's understanding of emotion at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 25-28, 1985).