Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 179–191 | Cite as

Parent attributions of emotion to their children and the cues children use in perceiving their own emotions

  • Susan Steinberg
  • James D. Laird
Article

Abstract

A number of studies have demonstrated stable individual differences in the cues that generate emotions and other feeling states. These differences are assumed to arise from the cues parents use to identify their children's emotional states. As children learn about their own emotional states, they come to rely on these same cues. To test one implication of their view, the facial expressions of children (N=41) were manipulated and their feelings assessed. Some children reported emotions consistent with their expressions, while others reported emotions appropriate to the situation. In a separate procedure, their mothers were asked to identify the emotional states of children whose expressions were inconsistent with an account of their circumstances. Mothers who paid more attention to their children's expressive behavior had children who were more responsive to their own expressive behavior. In contrast, the mothers who were more responsive to situational cues had children whose emotions arose from the situational cues as well.

Keywords

Individual Difference Social Psychology Facial Expression Emotional State Feeling State 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adelman, P. K, & Zajonc, R. B. (1989). Facial efference and the experience of emotion.Annual Review of Psychology, 40, 249–280.Google Scholar
  2. Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.),Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 6). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bresler, C., & Laird, J. D. (1983).Short-term stability and discriminant validity of the “self-situational” cue dimension. Paper presented at Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  4. Buck, R. (1980). Nonverbal behavior and the theory of emotion: The facial feedback hypothesis.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 811–824.Google Scholar
  5. Comer, R. (1975).Individual differences in self-attribution behaviors: Dimensions and child-rearing correlates. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Clark University.Google Scholar
  6. Comer, R., & Rhodewalt, F. (1979). Cue utilization in the self-attribution of emotions and attitudes.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 5, 320–324.Google Scholar
  7. Duclos, S. E., Laird, J. D., Schneider, E., Sexter, M., Stern, L., & Van Lighten, O. (1989). Emotion-specific effects of facial expressions and postures on emotional experience.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 100–108.Google Scholar
  8. Duncan, J. W., & Laird, J. D. (1977). Cross-modality consistencies individual differences in self-attribution.Journal of Personality, 45, 191–206.Google Scholar
  9. Duncan, J. W., & Laird, J. D. (1980). Positive and reverse placebo effects as a function of differences in cues used in self-perception.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 1024–1036.Google Scholar
  10. Edelman, B. (1984). A multiple-factor of body weight control.Journal of General Psychology, 110, 99–114.Google Scholar
  11. Izard, C. E. (1977).Human emotions. New York and London: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  12. James, W. (1890).Principles of Psychology. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  13. Kellerman, J., & Laird, J. D. (1982). The effect of appearance on self-perception.Journal of Personality, 50, 296–315.Google Scholar
  14. Kellerman, J., Lewis, J., & Laird, J. D. (1989). Looking and loving: The effect of mutual gaze on the self-perception of romantic love.Journal of Research in Personality, 23, 145–161.Google Scholar
  15. Laird, J. D. (1974). Self-attribution of emotion: The effects of expression behavior on the quality of emotional experience.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33, 475–486.Google Scholar
  16. Laird, J. D. (1984). The real role of facial response in experience of emotion: A reply to Tourangeau and Ellsworth, and others.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 909–917.Google Scholar
  17. Laird, J. D. (1989). Emotions affect cognitions because emotionsare cognitions.Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 4, 33–38.Google Scholar
  18. Laird, J. D., & Berglas, S. (1975). Individual differences in the effects of engaging in counter-attitudinal behavior.Journal of Personality, 43, 286–304.Google Scholar
  19. Laird, J. D., & Crosby, M. (1974). Individual differences in the self-attribution of emotion. In H. London & R. Nisbett (Eds.),Thinking and feeling: The cognitive alteration of feeling states. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  20. Leventhal, H. (1980). Toward a comprehensive theory of emotion. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.),Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 13). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. MacArthur, L. A., Solomon, M. R., & Jaffee, R. H. (1980). Weight and sex differences in emotional responsiveness to proprioceptive and pictorial stimuli.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 308–319.Google Scholar
  22. Malatesta, C. Z., & Haviland, J. M. (1985). Signals, symbols and socialization: The modification of emotional expression in human development. In M. Lewis & C. Saarni (Eds.),The socialization of emotion (pp. 89–116). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  23. Matsumoto, D. (1987). The role of facial response in the experience of emotion: More methodological problems and a meta-analysis.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 769–774.Google Scholar
  24. Mays, P., & Laird, J. D. (1984). Parents' child-rearing attitudes and their children's self-perception styles. Paper presented at The Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  25. Nowlis, V. (1968). Research with the mood adjective list. In S. Tomkins & C. Izard (Eds.)Affect: Measurement of awareness and performance. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  26. Posner, M. I., & Snyder, C. R. R. (1975). Attention and cognitive control. In R. L. Solso (Ed.),Information processing and cognition: The Loyola symposium. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  27. Rappolt, G. (1981).Cue utilization in self-perception and the perception of others. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Clark University.Google Scholar
  28. Rhodewalt, F., & Comer, R. (1979). Induced-compliance attitude change: Once more with feeling.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 15, 35–47.Google Scholar
  29. Rodin, J. (1981). Current status of the internal-external hypothesis for obesity. What went wrong?American Psychologist, 36, 361–372.Google Scholar
  30. Ryle, G. (1949).The Concept of Mind. City: Publisher.Google Scholar
  31. Schachter, S., & Rodin, J. (1974).Obese humans and rats. Washington, DC: Erlbaum-Halstead.Google Scholar
  32. Schaefer, E. S., & Bell, R. Q. (1957). Structure of attitudes toward child-rearing and the family.Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 54, 391–395.Google Scholar
  33. Shiffrin, R. M., & Schneider, W. (1977). Controlled and automatic human information processing: II. Perceptual learning, automatic attending and a general theory.Psychological Review, 84, 127–190.Google Scholar
  34. Tomkins, S. S. (1982). Affect theory. In P. Ekman (Ed.),Emotion in the Human Face (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Tourangeau, R., & Ellsworth, P. C. (1979). The role of facial response in the experience of emotion.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1519–1531.Google Scholar
  36. Zajonc, R. B. (1985). Emotion and facial efference.Science, 228, 15–21.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Steinberg
    • 1
  • James D. Laird
    • 1
  1. 1.Frances Hiatt School of PsychologyClark UniversityWorcester

Personalised recommendations