An Organizational View of Affect: Illustration from the Study of Down’s Syndrome Infants

  • Dante Cicchetti
  • L. Alan Sroufe
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 1)


Many of the outstanding questions in the field of affective development may be put within a unified framework that can be described as an “organizational perspective” (Sroufe, in press; Sroufe & Mitchell, in press). For example, the question of age of onset of various emotions becomes subsumed under the objective of tracing the unfolding of various affect systems and their integration with cognitive and social development. The question is not whether the 3-week-old exhibits fear but rather what are the circumstances for eliciting negative reactions at this age and what is the developmental course of both the reactions and the changing conditions necessary and sufficient for eliciting them. How is earlier distress related to what might later be called wariness and later still fear (whatever terms are actually used)? What does the unfolding of the affect systems tell us about cognitive development, and how do maturational and cognitive changes impact upon the expression of affect?


Negative Reaction Normal Infant Defensive Reaction Affective Expression Visual Cliff 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dante Cicchetti
    • 1
  • L. Alan Sroufe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Social RelationsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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