ERIC Number: ED306038
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Young Children's Understanding of Simultaneous Conflicting Emotions.
Gordis, Felice W.; And Others
A task was developed to allow young children to demonstrate their understanding of opposite-valence simultaneous emotions. A total of 69 children in grades K, 2, 4, and 6 heard eight very brief stories describing everyday events expected to arouse conflicting feelings toward a single target. For four of the stories, subjects were asked to detect how the protagonist felt. For the other four, the experimenter revealed the protagonist's dual feelings and asked the subjects to explain why both positive and negative feelings were aroused. Story version was counterbalanced for all children, and story content was rotated over versions according to a balanced Latin-square design. Although older children performed better than younger, children at every age level could successfully explain why the characters had conflicting feelings. After having to explain dual emotions, even the youngest children spontaneously detected conflicting feelings more often than did children who had not yet been asked to explain instances of opposing feelings. Results were interpreted as indicating that young children often understand what it means to have conflicting feelings but may not spontaneously talk about them. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).