Facial Expression and Affect Development

  • Harriet Oster
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 1)


One of my principal aims in this chapter is to introduce a new way of looking at infants’ faces. The key to this approach is close observation and analysis of moment-to-moment changes in naturally occurring facial behavior, with an eye to discovering organized patterning both in the configuration of the facial features and in the timing and sequencing of facial movements. Beginning with a rich and fine-grained analysis of the infant’s facial behavior, we can distinguish potentially meaningful expressive movements from random facial actions; we can refine grossly defined descriptive categories; and we can be more precise in relating facial movements to the infant’s other behavioral responses and to particular stimulus situations. As a result, we can begin to specify more precisely the affective and communicative “meanings” of the infant’s facial movements, as well as changes in function and meaning with age.


Facial Expression Young Infant Facial Action Facial Movement Facial Action Code System 
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

  • Harriet Oster
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Interaction LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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