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Development of Emotion Based on Culture for Infants and Toddlers

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Among all different developmental fields, emotional expression plays a very important role for people to understand infants and toddlers’ feelings before they can express their thoughts accurately by language communication. In simple words, emotion means the rapid appraisal of the personal significance of the situation, which prepares people for action. For example, happiness, interest, surprise, fear, anger, and sadness are the six basic emotions in humans (Berk, 2012); people can easily identify one’s emotional state by observing his or her facial expression in many situations. Although the expression of emotion is universal, much research shows that emotional development can vary quite a bit by culture. According to Camras et al.…show more content…
The researchers successfully demonstrated the presence of cross-cultural differences in infants’ emotional expressions in their study. The result showed that American and Japanese infants did not have significant differences; however, they were both significantly different from Chinese infants (Camras et al., 1998). A study in 1996 was aimed to find out the differences of children’s emotional expression between Asian and Western culture. In this study, there were 30 Japanese and 30 American children, which were between the ages of 48 to 70 months old. Seven situations would be presented in front of the children in pictorial representation with verbal descriptions, and the children were asked to pretend that they were undergoing the same situation in the real world. The researchers would ask the children several questions after each story, and the children’s responses to each situation of hypothetical conflict and distress would be observed and analyzed (Zahn‐Waxler, 1996). Asian culture is very different from Western culture. Asian culture encourages children to put more emphasis in group rather than individual; on the contrary, Western culture encourages independent and self-expression. This comparison leads to the distinct differences in children’s emotional expression between two cultures. Children in the United States were observed to be more angry and aggressive under the situations of conflict and distress;
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