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Running Head: EVALUATING EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 1

Assignment 4: Evaluating Emotional Development

Scheryl Gomez

West Coast University

Life Span Psychology

Evaluating Emotional Development 2

I believe that infant’s emotions are a combination of both nature and preprogrammed

biologically and that infant’s emotions are developed by both stimulation and conditioning.

Even before birth, from ultrasounds babies can be seen smiling from inside their mother’s

abdomen. It was basically considered a reflection of inner emotions, an infant is happy

therefore it smiled (Ozono 2010). Emotions such as smile on the other hand can teach infant

positive association attached to a smile that we adults can feel. Learning to smile and what is

meant by a smile is a process, just like learning how to walk (Ainsworth 1999).

Even though infants smiles, it may seem like they are happy. They probably are, but

infants also learn the joy of smile by sharing it with someone else by mimicking their parents or

strangers joy when they see an infant. Take for instance when a baby receives a toy as a gift

from a parent. An infant would smile upon receiving a toy and would look at the parent with

smile. With this anticipatory smile the child will keep smiling as long as the parents keep

smiling because they are mimicking what the parents are doing. But if the parents makes a sad

face while the baby makes an anticipatory smile, the baby will most likely do the same and make

a sad face even though the baby received a toy. Infants are getting aware of their social world.

They are learning from the environments around them the reason to smile and what that smile is

associated with.

Evaluating Emotional Development 3

Reference

Ozono H. (2010) What’s in a Smile? Letters of Evolutionary Behavioral Science, Ch.1, 15-18.

Ainsworth, M. D. (1991). Attachments and other Affectional bonds across the life cycle. London: Routledge

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