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Title: Six%20to%20Nine%20Months

Six to Nine Months
  • Fogel
  • Chapter 7

Created by Ilse DeKoeyer-Laros, Ph.D.
Six to Nine Months
  • Physical and Motor Development
  • Perceptual Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Emotional Development
  • Social and Language Development
  • Family and Society
  • Experiential Exercises
  • Co-regulating with Baby

Six to Nine Months
  • Between the ages of 6 and 9 months, infants grow
    more adventurous.
  • this development is physical in that babies can
    creep or crawl, at least for short distances, on
    their own
  • it is also psychological in that infants begin to
    take initiatives and to call attention to
  • Infants of this age develop a serious interest in
    the object world, and they come to understand
    that objects are whole entities with an existence
    separate from their own.

Physical Motor Development
  • By the age of 5 months, infants can sit
    supported, and they can reach and grasp objects
  • Between 6 and 9 moths, improvements in posture
    lead to independent sitting and to supported
  • muscle strength improvements allow babies o roll
    over and to move their by creeping or crawling
  • By 9 months, infants can take a few steps while
    holding on to furniture or an adult hand
  • Their grasp becomes more precise so that by 9
    months, infants can pick up small objects such as
    peas or carrot slices using just the tips of the
    thumb and index finger

Physical and Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • The left and right hemispheres of the human
  • serve different functions
  • the right hemisphere is believed to control
    spatial patterns and nonlinguistic (e.g.,
    emotional) information processing
  • the left hemisphere is more sensitive to
    sequential processing of the sort used in
    understanding language
  • these hemisphere differences are found in
    right-handed people in left-handed people the
    hemisphere functions are reversed

Physical Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • Brain hemisphere specialization is linked to
    handedness, or the preference for the use of one
    hand over another
  • the emergence in infancy of a preferred hand is
    thought to be related to milestones in the
    development of the brain
  • if there is a hand-use preference in early
    infancy, it might suggest that the left and the
    right cortices are already functioning

Physical Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • Infants begin to exhibit a hand preference at
    about 2 months of age, around the same time when
    visually guided reaching begins
  • more infants preferentially reach with their
    right than with their left hands
  • this hand preference is relatively stable in
    babies over the first year of life

Physical Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • Left-right differences in infants are not the
    same as those found in adults
  • in adults, hand preference is correlated with the
    hand preference of ones parents, but this is not
    true in infants
  • about 90 of adults in all cultures are right
  • only about 30 to 50 of infants under 1 year show
    a preference for the right hand in reaching
  • 10 to 30 of infants have a left-hand preference
    in reaching
  • the remaining infants show no hand preference

Physical Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • More-permanent adult-like hand preferences in
    infants do not emerge until the second year of

Physical Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • Handedness does not mean that we use one hand and
    not the other it means that each of our hands
    may be doing different things

Physical Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • When infants first begin to reach for objects,
    they use two hands and reach symmetrically toward
    the midline of the body
  • more mature reaching, beginning around 6 months,
    involves reaching with a single hand for the
  • The babies, who by 6 months are just learning to
    sit without support, extend the nonreaching hand
    backward to balance their upper bodies as the
    reaching hand moves forward

Physical Motor Development
Hand movements and hand preference
  • Single-handed reaches would be impossible for
    babies without the postural counterbalance
    provided by the other hand and arm
  • Two handed reaches after 6 months are also more
    sophisticated because they typically occur with
    larger objects (like a big ball) and they can
    cross the mid-line of the body to retrieve
    objects off to one side

Physical Motor Development
  • Being able to extend one arm independently of the
    other is believed to be important for the
    development of crawling
  • observations of infants reveal that there are
    different types of crawling (see Table 7.2)
  • as long as babies are still reaching with two
    hands at the same time (showing no hand
    preference), they either creep or rock
  • infants begin to crawl as soon as they can reach
    with one hand
  • crawling requires the extension of one hand and
    leg and then the other

Physical Motor Development
  • Not all infants go through the sequence of types
    of crawling
  • some infants creep before they crawl, while
    others skip the creeping phase and go directly to
  • infants who creep before they crawl, however, are
    better at crawling than those who do not creep.
    Creepers move faster and their movements are
    larger and more efficient
  • non-creepers become proficient crawlers after a
    couple of weeks
  • Infants use whatever means are available to
    achieve their goals, rather than staying with the
    most advanced form of movement all the time

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • The research on crawling shows that even though
    infants can get up on their hands and knees in a
    crawling posture, they still cannot crawl because
    they lack one of crawlings necessary skill
    components alternate extension of the arms and
  • Dynamic systems theory predicts that new motor
    skills develop by adding additional components to
    existing skills

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • A similar analysis could be applied to the
    development of walking. In the age period covered
    in this chapter, 6 to 9 months, infants can stand
    and take a few steps, but they cannot yet walk
  • Nine-month-old infants seem to possess the
    prerequisites of walking
  • They can pull themselves into a standing
    position, take steps while holding onto
    something, and alternate their leg movements
  • What they lack, however, is the ability to
    control balance. This was discovered in research
    using a moving-room technique (see Figure 7.1)

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • Moving-room technique
  • A baby stands in a miniature room, the floor of
    which is stationary but whose walls and ceiling
    are moved either toward or away from the baby
  • Infants under 1 year will fall in the direction
    in which the wall appears to be moving
  • Infants older than 1 year may sway but are less
    likely to lose their balance
  • The moving room recreates the visual experience
    of moving without asking the baby to take steps
    at the same time
  • It is this visual experience of the room seeming
    to flow past the eyes that appears to cause
    babies to lose their balance

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • This research suggests that perception of ones
    own movement in space is a key ingredient in
    controlling the posture necessary for locomotor
  • Creeping or crawling experience enhances the
    infants self-awareness in relation to objects in
    space their ability to understand the
    differences between close and distant objects,
    and their ability to remember novel events

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • Balance and posture also influences other motor
    developmental processes
  • the difference between a creep and a crawl (Table
    7.2), for example, is the ability to balance on
    the hands and knees while moving forward
  • once balance is acquired in the crawl, infants
    movements become more efficient and uniform

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • Infants who had experience with creeping or
    crawling were observed in the moving room
    apparatus and compared with infants who had not
    yet begun to locomote themselves
  • Those infants who had already begun self-produced
    locomotion were better able to make postural
    adjustments to the moving room, showing that the
    balance needed for walking may come from earlier
    experiences of balance while trying to crawl

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • Postural control while sitting is important for
    the development of skilled reaching
  • before infants can sit upright steadily, they
    reach for objects with two hands at the same time
  • after they can sit steadily, they are able to
    reach with a single hand, allowing them to use
    their other hand for something else
  • infants of this age also seem to know how far
    they can reach for an object based on how stable
    they are in a sitting posture
  • They reach out farther when they feel more stable
    and do not reach when they feel unstable

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • Motor development is a complex systems
    interaction of the different parts of the motor
    system (legs, trunk, and arms), but it also
    includes the perceptual system and the type of
    environment in which the child is moving
  • Infants can execute walking movements, for
    example, if they are supported in their
    postureby an infant walker or an adultand
    allowed to move their legs cyclically
  • The onset of walking is later in infants with
    fewer opportunities to exercise these movements

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • Infants in northern climates who are born in
    summer and fall will walk on their own an average
    of 3 weeks later than infants born in winter and
  • Babies born in winter and spring are more likely
    to be practicing walking skills in the summer or
    fall, and the warmer temperatures give them more
    opportunity for movement without the constriction
    of a lot of clothing

Physical Motor Development
How Motor Skills Develop
  • Infant motor development is also facilitated by
    giving babies opportunities to move and explore
    on their own without equipment
  • in one study, infants were ranked according to
    how much they used equipment such as a jolly
    jumper, walker, exersaucer, playpen, or swing
  • those infants who used such equipment more had
    higher scores on motor development assessments at
    8 months of age
  • it is recommended that moderate use of these
    devices may not be detrimental so long as infants
    are exposed to free play experience on the floor
    with adults

Perceptual Development
New Developments in the Recognition of Objects
and Depth
  • By 4 months, infants are able to recognize
    objects even though they may look different when
    seen from different orientations
  • infants perceive objects as being solid and will
    become puzzled if one solid object appears to
    pass through another
  • infants of this age can also perceive differences
    in distances between objects and will reach
    preferentially to objects they perceive as nearer
    to them
  • For infants under 6 months, however, object
    recognition and depth perception are easier if
    the objects are moving and if real objects,
    rather than pictures of objects, are presented

Perceptual Development
New Developments in the Recognition of Objects
and Depth
  • After 6 months, infants can infer object
    properties and depth merely from visual cues
  • by 6 months, infants can see three dimensions
    when they are shown objects in two dimensions, as
    in a drawing or a photograph
  • By about 7 months of age, infants with a patch
    over one eye will reach toward the larger of two
    identical pictures of a face, apparently
    perceiving it as closer
  • if a small and a large checkerboard are used, the
    infants do not reach more frequently for the
    larger one, since checkerboards have no standard
  • If the infants are allowed to reach while looking
    with both eyes, they do not show a preference for
    the larger object, either the car or the

Perceptual Development
New Developments in the Recognition of Objects
and Depth
  • By 7 months, infants use visual cues, such as
    size, to judge depth
  • infants can use other visual cues to judge depth
  • if one object partially blocks the view of
    another, the blocked object is perceived as
    farther away
  • relative shading in a drawing depicting a bump or
    a depression causes 7-month-olds, but not
    5-month-olds, to reach for the object shaded like
    a bump
  • both 5- and 7-month-olds reach for actual bumps
  • when objects are presented in a perspective
    drawing, infants use the perspective information
    to reach for the object that is apparently nearer
    to them
  • Infants ability to recognize objects in two
    dimensions leads to increased interest in picture
    books and television at this age

Perceptual Development
New Developments in the Recognition of Objects
and Depth
  • During this period, infants learn to perceive
    object properties through touch as well as
    through vision
  • Perception of the properties of an object using
    touch is called haptic perception
  • Through haptic perception, infants soon after
    birth can distinguish different properties of
    objects primarily by using their mouths
  • In the early months, the mouth is perhaps the
    most sensitive haptic organ
  • Between 4 and 6 months, infants begin examining
    objects by active exploration combining hand,
    mouth, and vision
  • After 6 months, infants develop specialized hand
    movements to detect information about specific
    object properties such as size, texture, and

Perceptual Development
New Developments in the Recognition of Objects
and Depth
  • Through both haptics and vision, therefore,
    infants become increasingly sophisticated in
    their knowledge of object properties.

Perceptual Development
Other Perceptual Developments
  • infants in this age period can recognize
    differences between simple melodies
  • six-month-olds can discriminate between six-note
    melodies differing by only one note, and they can
    discriminate between melodies in which the pauses
    between notes are varied
  • By this age, therefore, babies can recognize some
    nursery rhymes and simple melodies heard in songs

Perceptual Development
Other Perceptual Developments
  • By this age, babies show continuing evidence of
    cross-modal perception
  • infants are sensitive to distortions in the sound
    track of a film showing a rattle shaking at a
    particular rhythm
  • if the sound is faster or slower than the
    rattles movements, the babies notice the

Perceptual Development
Other Perceptual Developments
  • As the visual and auditory display becomes more
    complicated, however, infants preferentially
    process the sound but not the vision, reflecting
    the fact that even at 6 months, auditory
    perception is more advanced than visual
  • These findings are important because they show
    that cross-modal perception is becoming more
    controlled for infants under certain conditions,
    they can distinguish between the separate
    attributes of each modality

Perceptual Development
Other Perceptual Developments
  • Infants older than 6 months can also use
    cross-modal perception to infer information about
    object properties
  • Infants of this age who are familiarized with an
    object only by touch can recognize the object by
    sight alone and infants will alternatively look
    at and touch objects and put them into their
    mouths while exploring them
  • If babies hear a sound in the dark, they will
    reach for an object in the direction of the
    sound. Infants can also distinguish whether the
    object is within or out of their reach based on
    hearing its sound in the dark

Perceptual Development
Other Perceptual Developments
  • Infants were given sweet and tart foods in cups
    of different colors. On subsequent color-choice
    trials, the infants consistently picked the color
    that had been paired with the sweet food

Perceptual Development
Other Perceptual Developments
  • These studies of perception show that by the
    middle of the first year of life, infants can use
    subtle cues to infer regularities in their
    perceptual world
  • they can now learn from pictures in books and on
  • they can pick up relationships between different
    senses in order to pay attention to aspects of
    their environment that most interest them

Perceptual Development
Other Perceptual Developments
  • These perceptual abilities lead to clear
  • babies begin to take the initiative in expressing
    their desires for particular pictures, objects,
    and tastes
  • as infants learn to perceive the world, they also
    learn about themselves

Cognitive Development
  • During the period from 6 to 9 months, the
    infants brain continues to develop
  • Studies using kicking to make mobiles move have
    shown that infant memory during this period is
    similar to memory at 3 months
  • 3-month-olds can remember how to produce mobile
    movements for up to 14 days, 7-month-olds can
    remember for as long as 21 days without a
  • By 7 months, their memories are somewhat less
    context dependent, meaning that infants can
    remember a salient event that has been learned in
    several different but related situations

Cognitive Development
  • Infants of this age have more control over
    reactivating their own memories and do not have
    to rely entirely on contextual cues
  • Infants also can remember longer sequences of
    events, like longer melodies or longer sequences
    of flashing colored lights on electronic toys

Cognitive Development
  • Although the memory of infants of this age is
    improving, it is still limited and localized to
    the situation, at least compared to that of a
    preschool child or an adult
  • The fact that infants can remind themselves means
    that they are beginning to take a role in
    creating their own self-history that transcends
    particular situations
  • By 6 months, infants take a more active role in
    the processing of information

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • Infants in this age period are able to group
    different stimuli into higher-order conceptual
  • using a habituation procedure, researchers showed
    babies a series of pictures of the same face in
    different poses
  • during the test trial, the infants dishabituated
    to an unfamiliar face but not to the same face in
    a different pose
  • this shows that the babies had organized all the
    different poses they saw into a higher-order
    concept of a particular face
  • seven-month-olds, but not 5-month-olds, were able
    to do this

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • In a similar type of study, 7-month-old infants
    were habituated to different faces having the
    same facial expression (a smile)
  • they dishabituated to a different face with a
    nonsmile expression but not to a different face
    with a smile expression

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • In an interesting variant of this procedure,
    infants were familiarized with somewhat distorted
    versions of a prototype figure
  • a prototype figure is one that is the clearest
    example of the form being represented
  • if infants are actively organizing the images of
    the distorted figures into a category, then they
    should prefer to look at a related prototype,
    compared to an unrelated prototype in a test
    trial in which both are available to look at
  • infants who were familiarized with the plus
    sign distortions preferred the plus sign
    prototype at ages 3, 5, and 7 months
  • only 7-months-olds could recognize the prototype
    from the distorted versions

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • Infants of this age are beginning to relate
    objects together into higher-order
  • seven-month-olds, for example, can distinguish
    horses from some other four-legged mammals such
    as cats, zebras, and giraffes
  • infants develop motor categorizations for
    objects, grouping them into things shakable,
    drinkable, squeezable, and so on
  • By 9 months, infants can distinguish these object
    properties visually as well as haptically

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • Infants of this age are able to judge whether
    objects are too big to fit into containers, when
    shown objects and containers of various sizes
  • They understand that moving objects should follow
    along their prior path of movement and that
    larger objects can support smaller objects
  • Infants will respond differentially when the same
    object is placed above as opposed to below
    another object, showing that they have a category
    for these kinds of spatial relationships

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • Infants of this age may even have a concept of
    number or quantity of objects
  • infants were habituated to a puppet jumping in
    the air either two or three times
  • they dishabituated when the number of jumps
    changed, from two to three or from three to two

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • Piaget discovered that his children had a sense
    of quantity at 11 months of age when he tried to
    get them to imitate sounds
  • if Piaget said papa, Laurent replied with
    papa. If Piaget said pa, so did Laurent
  • by adding more pa syllables, Piaget discovered
    that Laurent had trouble with more than three.
    Saying papapapapapa only got a papapapa in

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • Other research found that 10- to 12-month-olds
    could easily discriminate visual arrays that
    differed only in number, particularly for one
    versus two objects, one versus three objects, and
    two versus three objects
  • They had a harder time with four versus three
    objects, and no luck at all discriminating four
    from five objects

Cognitive Development
Increasing Use of Concepts to Organize Process
  • Studies like these show that infants of this age
    have a concept of quantitymore versus lessbut
    they do not prove that infants of this age know
    numbers and can do math problems

Cognitive Development
Piagets Third Sensorimotor Stage Secondary
Circular Reactions
  • Beginning at about 4 months and continuing until
    about 8 or 9 months, infants pass through
    Piagets third stage of sensorimotor development
    the stage of secondary circular reactions
  • Instead of only repeating actions that they
    discover by chance on their own bodies (the
    primary circular reaction), infants soon begin to
    repeat actions that, by chance, produce some
    effect on the objects and people in the
  • the idea of chance is what distinguishes this
    stage from the ones that follow
  • once the chance discovery is made, however,
    infants make deliberate, intentional attempts to
    repeat that action

Cognitive Development
Piagets Third Sensorimotor Stage Secondary
Circular Reactions
  • In a primary circular reaction, babies repeat a
    movement of their own bodies but do not make the
    connection between that movement and its effect
  • In secondary circular reactions, babies are
    focused more on the objects in the environment.
    They not only repeat actions that produce effects
    on objects, they also vary the actions in order
    to explore changes in the effect
  • babies between 6 and 9 months will drop objects
    off the edge of their high chairs, perhaps
    listening for different sounds or looking at
    different movements when the objects hit the
  • they shake objects in different ways to notice
    the effect or repeatedly dump things (such as
    their food) out of containers

Cognitive Development
Piagets Third Sensorimotor Stage Secondary
Circular Reactions
  • Infants in this period tend to apply the
    movements they use for particular objects as a
    way of representing or referring to the object
    (see Observation 7.1)
  • when Piaget shakes his sons rattles, Laurent at
    41/2 months is too busily engaged in playing with
    the toy he is holding to actually strike his
    rattle. He seems to indicate the potential action
    by making a striking movement in the air
  • instead of saying verbally, Those are my
    rattles, Laurent expresses himself through a
    motor movement that has the exact form of his
    previous interactions with that object

Cognitive Development
Piagets Third Sensorimotor Stage Secondary
Circular Reactions
  • Repeated occurrences in the environment take on
    meaning for the baby (see Observation 7.2)
  • by 7 months, Laurent knew that he would be fed
    shortly after he heard his mothers bed creak
  • earlier in his life, he would cry with hunger as
    soon as he woke up. Now he cries in relation to
    certain environmental events that have come to
    have a meaning for him
  • like the act of pretend striking, the cry is a
    motor way of saying, Thats the sound of my

Cognitive Development
Piagets Third Sensorimotor Stage Secondary
Circular Reactions
  • Nine-month-old infants were shown an actor
    grasping first one toy and then another
  • They were also shown an actor touching one toy
    with the back of her hand and then touching
    another toy the same way
  • The infants looked longer when the grasping hand
    contacted the second toy than they did when the
    actor touched the second toy with the back of her

Cognitive Development
Piagets Third Sensorimotor Stage Secondary
Circular Reactions
  • These observations suggest that infants are
    becoming more intentional and goal directed, and
    also that they can perceive the intentional
    behavior of other people
  • Also, infants are more interested in actions of
    other people that seem to have a clear goal

Cognitive Development
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
  • Another aspect of conceptualizing objects is
    whether infants believe that objects have a
    permanent existence
  • object permanence is the ability to remain aware
    of an object even after it has gone out of sight
  • infants will not actively search for an object
    that has been hidden until after the age of 9

Cognitive Development
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
  • In one study, infants aged 7 to 8 months saw an
    object sitting on one of two red placemats that
    were 8.5 inches (21.5 centimeters) apart
  • Next, two purple screens big enough to hide the
    object were slid in front of the placemats
  • A hand then reached behind the screen and
    reappeared holding the object in either a
    possible situation or an impossible situation
  • Infants looked longer at the hand following the
    impossible situation compared to the possible one
  • This showed that they remembered the objects
    location and were surprised when the object
    appeared from behind the screen opposite that
    behind which they had seen it placed

Cognitive Development
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
  • In a similar study with infants of the same age,
    this time with their parents present in the room,
    the infants not only looked longer at the
    impossible situation, they also looked more at
    their parents as if to share their puzzlement

Cognitive Development
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
  • Infants between 3 and 7 months come to understand
    that objects seen in the light will still be in
    the same place when the lights are turned off
  • in one study, infants were shown an object
    falling and making a noise on impact, after which
    they were allowed to reach for the fallen object
  • next, the lights were turned off. When the
    infants heard the sound of the impact they
    reached for the object in the dark at the same
  • If infants have prior exposure to the situation
    in which the object is to be located, their
    memory abilities at this age allow them to search
    for the object in the correct location

Cognitive Development
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
  • Infants of this age are becoming aware of objects
    and people and whole entities
  • They can appreciate that objects have features
    and boundaries, that they occupy unique locations
    in space, and that they do not disappear when out
    of sight
  • The same is also true for infants conceptions of
  • people, however, are understood by infants as
    having intentions
  • the ability to perceive anothers intentions
    corresponds with the infants awareness of their
    own intentions, their ability to have an effect
    on the environment

Emotional Development
The Development of Negative Emotions
  • Until the beginning of Piagets Stage III (around
    5 months), babies have basically one response to
    a negative experience they cry
  • With the onset of secondary circular reactions,
    infants become more aware that they can cause
    things to happen in the environment
  • This sense of themselves as a causal agentpart
    of the ecological selfaccounts in part for the
    reduction in the amount of crying that occurs
    between 3 and 5 months
  • When infants cannot succeed at being an effective
    causal agentwhen they cannot get a toy they
    want, for examplea new source of negative
    experience enters their lives anger.

Emotional Development
The Development of Negative Emotions
  • Anger in infants is a direct result of their
    having their motives disrupted
  • Although both anger and distress are accompanied
    by crying, the facial expression during anger is
    different from that of distress, as is the babys
    underlying feeling
  • in one study, infants reactions to inoculations
    were observed at 2, 4, and 7 months
  • at 2 and 4 months, infants reacted with physical
    distress, a direct response to pain
  • distress is expressed by crying with tightly shut
  • by 7 months, the babies responded with more angry
    expressions, crying with open, vigilant eyes
  • it is almost as if the quality of the gaze
    signals that the infant is angry at the person
    being watched

Emotional Development
The Development of Negative Emotions
  • Separation from the mother is another situation
    that causes negative emotions
  • before the age of 6 months, infants cry with
    distress, particularly if their mothers leave,
    act depressed, or perform a still face in the
    middle of a feeding or play session
  • after 6 months, infants respond to parental
    separation with some anger, especially if the
    parent happens to be a part of the infants
    activitysuch as during play or feedingwhen he
    or she leaves
  • Expressions of anger are also seen in
    7-month-olds when a teething biscuit is removed
    from their mouths or when their arms are

Emotional Development
The Development of Negative Emotions
  • Another negatively toned emotion seen at this age
    is wariness
  • infants may become quiet and stare at a stranger
    or a strange situation, knit their brows, become
    momentarily sober, and look away
  • Because wariness allows the infant to observe
    what is happening, it is a considerably more
    adaptive reaction to strange situations than is
    the withdrawal of infantile fussing and crying of
    previous ages

Emotional Development
The Development of Negative Emotions
  • Infants of this age were taught to pull a string
    attached to their wrist in order to activate a
    slide projection of an infants face accompanied
    by the Sesame Street theme song
  • After they learned this procedure, the
    experimenters stopped turning on the slide
    projector and music when the infant pulled the
  • Most of the infants reacted to this contingency
    failure with anger, although some showed
    expressions of sadness
  • When the contingency was renewed, the infants who
    expressed anger immediately became interested
    again in the task, while those who showed sadness
    reacted to the renewal of the contingency with
    less enjoyment

Emotional Development
The Development of Negative Emotions
  • This shows that anger is an adaptive and useful
    response for some babies, who perceive the
    renewal of the contingency as under their control
  • The babies who were saddened, however, may
    perceive themselves as helpless to change the
    course of events

Emotional Development
The Development of Negative Emotions
  • At this age, then, the helpless fussing of
    earlier ages gives way to demanding crying,
    anger, and wariness
  • Each of these forms of negative emotional
    expression is considerably more adaptive from the
    infants point of view and these developments
    reflect some significant advances in the infants
    ability to cope with negative situations
  • The end result of this increasing sophistication
    in the realm of negative responding is to bring
    the infant back into a positive engagement with
    the environment.

Emotional Development
The Development of Positive Emotions
  • Positive emotions also become more complex during
    this age period
  • In one study, mothers and infants were observed
    playing peekaboo and tickle games
  • Different types of smiles had different emotional
    meanings depending upon whether the infant was
    attending to the mother or not
  • simple smiling accompanied by gazing at the
    mother during peekaboo represents an enjoyment of
    recognition or perhaps an enjoyment of readiness
    to engage in play
  • simple smiles occurring without gazing at mother
    after a previous tickle are often accompanied by
    gasping for air and sighing
  • the feeling associated with these smiles may be
    an enjoyment of relief or perhaps an enjoyment of

Emotional Development
The Development of Positive Emotions
  • Duchenne smiles (lip corner retraction with cheek
    raising) occur with gazing at the mother
    primarily when she uncovers her face during
  • these smiles may reflect an enjoyment of agency,
    sensing oneself as an active rather than passive
    participant in the game
  • this may mean that the pleasure of peekaboo is in
    the experience of active visual searching for
    when and how the mother will reappear after
  • Duchenne smiles without gazing at the mother
    occur most frequently during a tickle, often as
    infants turn their whole bodies away as if trying
    to hide or to protect themselves
  • these Duchenne smiles may reflect an enjoyment of
    hiding or perhaps an enjoyment of escape

Emotional Development
The Development of Positive Emotions
  • These findings reveal that infants of this age
    are showing the beginnings of adultlike emotional
  • Beginning around 8 months of age, infants who
    smile when looking at an object will
    spontaneously turn to smile at a nearby adult
  • taken together with the gazing at the adult that
    occurs in anger expressions, there is a growing
    ability in infants of this age to communicate
    with others about emotions
  • By the age of 6 months, babies will laugh at your
    jokes. They will laugh when you play tug with
    them, when they see you suck on their pacifiers
    or bottles, and when they try to pull the bottles
    out of your mouth

Emotional Development
The Development of Positive Emotions
  • Babies also laugh at very abrupt and highly
    arousing stimuli
  • They may laugh at things that once made them cry,
    such as a loud noise or a loss of balance
  • The laugh will sometimes follow a very serious or
    wary expression, almost as if the babies were
    trying to make up their minds about whether to
    get upset or enjoy the situation

Emotional Development
The Development of Positive Emotions
  • In one study, 8-month-old babies watched while
    someone wearing a scary mask approached them
  • When the mask was worn by a stranger, the babies
  • When it was worn by their mothers, the babies

Emotional Development
Emotion Regulation
  • This experiment suggests that by this age, the
    infant is beginning to use cognition to decide
    what to feel, a process known as appraisal
  • This means that there is a growing relationship
    between infant emotion and attention to the
    events and processes related to that emotion

Emotional Development
Emotion Regulation
  • Seven-month-old infants were familiarized with a
    computerized drawing of a face and asked to
    choose between the familiar face and an
    unfamiliar one using a paired preference
  • if infants studied the familiar faces with a
    neutral facial expression, they looked at the
    pair of faces for a shorter time and were better
    able to distinguish the familiar from the
    unfamiliar faces
  • if the infants were smiling, they looked longer
    at the familiar faces and were less efficient in
    their discrimination during the paired preference
  • this means that positive emotions are related to
    a less analytical style of attending and most
    likely reflect right-brain processing

Emotional Development
Emotion Regulation
  • Different patterns of communication between
    mothers and their male and female infants are
    related to gender differences in emotion
  • Six-month-old boys and girls were observed during
    face-to-face play, followed by maternal
  • during the still-face condition, boys were more
    likely than girls to show expressions of anger,
    to fuss, to gesture to be picked up, or to try to
    get out of the infant seat
  • boys also were more likely to try to get the
    mothers attention by smiling and vocalizing to
  • boys also had a more positive interaction with
    the mother during the normal face-to-face period
  • girls, on the other hand, spent more time gazing
    at objects and showing expressions of interest

Emotional Development
Emotion Regulation
  • This study, however, does not reveal that boys
    are more social than girls but, rather, that boys
    are less able to regulate their emotions under
    stressful conditions
  • The more positive interaction between mothers and
    sons during the normal condition may reflect a
    necessity to achieve co-regulated communication
    because boys are more upset when there are
    breakdowns in communication
  • The girls were able to manage their emotions
    during the still face by becoming more observant
    of the objects in the environment

Emotional Development
Emotion Regulation
  • The findings on emotion regulation show that
    infants of both genders are highly tuned into
    their emotional communication with others
  • They are able to experience subtle differences of
    emotion as a function of how their attention is
    directed and whether the communication is
    co-regulated or disrupted
  • In older children and adults, males and females,
    emotions are related to their early experiences
    in interpersonal communication

Emotional Development
Recognition of Emotional Expressions
  • An infants ability to recognize and discriminate
    among different emotional expressions increases
    between 6 and 9 months
  • Babies seem more capable of recognizing smiles
    than other expressions
  • Infants were familiarized with pictures of faces
    with smiles of different inensities
  • Later, they dishabituated to nonsmile expressions
    but not to smiles differing in intensity
  • their ability at this age to distinguish between
    other expressions, such as fear and anger, is
    relatively poor
  • 7-month-old infants whose mothers are high in
    their display of positive emotions are more
    likely to respond to negative facial expressions,
    perhaps because of their relative novelty

Emotional Development
Recognition of Emotional Expressions
  • When facial expressions of emotions are combined
    with voices expressing those emotions,
    7-month-olds improve considerably in their
    ability to distinguish between emotions
  • When faces are presented dynamically, that is,
    via videorecordings rather than still pictures,
    7-month-old infants ability to distinguish
    different types of expression also improves
  • Infants also more readily recognize emotional
    differences if the facial expression is paired
    with a matching (compared to a mismatched)
    intonation pattern
  • as when an angry expression is matched with an
    angry vs. happy tone of voice

Emotional Development
Recognition of Emotional Expressions
  • Except for a happy expression, to which infants
    will respond with a smile, there is little
    evidence that infants of this age view facial
    expressions alone as meaningful emotion signals

Emotional Development
Recognition of Emotional Expressions
  • Infants of this age prefer to look at faces
    judged by adults to be attractive, regardless of
    the race or gender of the faces they are looking
  • apparently, attractiveness, like recognition of
    particular people, can be inferred from more
    global features of the face that do not involve
    specific expressions
  • Infants can also distinguish between the faces of
    children and adults

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • Temperament is a persistent pattern of emotion
    and emotion regulation in the infants
    relationship to people and things in the
  • Researchers have identified a number of
    expressive and responsive dimensions along which
    infants vary
  • on each dimension, some children are especially
    high or especially low, and such extreme cases
    have been referred to as easy or as difficult

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • Research done using twin studies and behavior
    genetics methods has found that some aspects of
    temperament are partly inherited
  • Inhibition to the unfamiliar, as observed in the
    laboratory, and infant negative emotions, as
    rated by parents, both have some genetic
  • negativity and inhibition both appear early in
    life and are persistent characteristics in 5 to
    10 of all infants up until at least the ages of
    5 to 7 years
  • in addition, similar proportions of persistently
    inhibited children are found in different
    countries and even in infant monkeys, which
    further suggests some genetic contribution

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • One long-term study found that infants who were
    the most inhibited at 4 months, when they were
    teenagers, were more likely to be subdued in
    unfamiliar situations, to have a dour mood, to
    report more anxiety, and to have an overactive
    sympathetic nervous system response
  • Another study found that adults who were
    inhibited as infants showed a higher activation
    in the amygdala (the part of the limbic system
    responsive to fear) when viewing pictures of
    unfamiliar faces than adults who were not
    inhibited as infants
  • This fear of new faces reflects the persistence
    of social anxiety in inhibited individuals

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • According to both Rothbart and Kagan, temperament
    is rooted in biological processes but not
    necessarily inherited. For these researchers,
    behavioral characteristics called temperamental
    must be associated with specific central nervous
    system (CNS) and autonomic nervous system (ANS
    sympathetic-arousal and parasympathetic-relaxation
    ) activity
  • In this view, temperament is a somatic pattern,
    involving both mind and body
  • Infants and children who have difficulties with
    attention and emotion regulation -- those rated
    as highly reactive, emotional, inattentive, or
    inhibited -- have different patterns of activity
    in the prefrontal cortex compared to
    well-regulated infants

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • For example, inhibition is related to brain wave
    and heart rate patterns as well as to stress
    responses to frustration
  • Physiological stress responses to frustration,
    such as heart rate acceleration, cortisol
    secretion, and sympathetic nervous system
    activation, are present at an early age for some
    inhibited infants and may persist for periods of
    up to 1 year

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • Some research has shown that infant temperament,
    and its associated physiological features, is
    correlated with parental personality
  • infants who are more inhibited, for example, are
    more likely to have parents who are introverted,
    shy, and anxious
  • also, persistent infant inhibition and high
    levels of negativity are related to lower scores
    on maternal adaptation to pregnancy, maternal
    sensitivity to the infant after birth, and
    maternal self-esteem
  • mothers who rate infant cries as more aversive
    are more likely to rate their infants as
  • These findings, while they suggest that parents
    play a role in the development of infant
    temperament, do not necessarily rule out a
    partial genetic explanation for inhibition, since
    parents and infants could both share similar
    genetic make-ups.

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • Another finding that may call the genetic
    explanation into question is that children do not
    necessarily exhibit continuity of temperament
  • inhibited children may, with appropriately
    sensitive child rearing, eventually lose their
    extreme sensitivity
  • normal children may become more inhibited in
    extremely stressful environments

Emotional Development
Infant Temperament
  • Extreme fussiness at birth predicts later
    emotionality in full-term infants
  • Fussiness at birth is not related to later
    behavior in premature infants
  • the stress of premature birth may have made it
    impossible to assess the infants temperament at
    the time of bir