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ERIC Number: EJ814828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
The Development of Affect Specificity in Infants' Use of Emotion Cues
Martin, Nicole Gendler; Witherington, David C.; Edwards, Alison
Infancy, v13 n5 p456-468 Sep 2008
This study examined the emergence of affect specificity in infancy. In this study, infants received verbal and facial signals of 2 different, negatively valenced emotions (fear and sadness) as well as neutral affect via a television monitor to determine if they could make qualitative distinctions among emotions of the same valence. Twenty 12- to 14-month-olds and 20 16- to 18-month-olds were examined. Results suggested that younger infants showed no evidence of referential specificity, as they responded similarly to both the target and distracter toys, and showed no evidence of affect specificity, showing no difference in play between affect conditions. Older infants, in contrast, showed evidence both of referential and affect specificity. With respect to affect specificity, 16- to 18-month-olds touched the target toy less in the fear condition than in the sad condition and showed a larger proportion of negative facial expressions in the sad condition versus the fear condition. These findings suggest a developmental emergence after 15 months of age for affect specificity in relating emotional messages to objects. (Contains 2 tables.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Mexico