In Study 1,160 individuals from kindergarten (kd), 3rd, 6th, 9th, and college grades were presented story protagonists who facially expressed or did not express sadness/fear when encountering events that likely caused (relevant-inhibitory cause) or did not cause (irrelevant cause) the inhibition of the expression of emotion. In Study 2, 108 kd, 3rd-, and 6th-grade children viewed peers engaging in real interactions similar to the stories. In both studies, kindergartners judged that relevant-inhibitory causes decreased a peer's emotions. Older individuals displayed an understanding of the inhibition of emotional expression by ascribing greater emotion to the peer under relevant-inhibitory than irrelevant causal conditions. In Study 2, age differences in children's search for social information and prosocial behavior paralleled judgments of emotion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies