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Beyond surprise: The puzzle of infants' expressive reactions to expectancy violation

Scherer, K.R., Zentner, M.R. and Stern, D. (2004) Beyond surprise: The puzzle of infants' expressive reactions to expectancy violation. Emotion, 4 (4). pp. 389-402. ISSN 1528-3542

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Abstract

The reactions of 58 infants to expectancy violation by digitally filtering the experimenter's voice were studied in a cross-sectional design for ages 5, 7, 9, 11-12, and 14 months. The results show that behavioral freezing and changes in gaze direction, but not facial or vocal expression, are reliable responses to expectancy violation. The pattern suggests that a transition in the infant's capacity for cognitive evaluation of novel and discrepant events may occur around age 9 months. These findings confirm the consistent failure to find prototypical facial surprise reactions in research on novel or impossible situations. Componential theories of emotion, which predict adaptive behavior patterns from appraisal processes, may provide clues for underlying mechanisms and generate hypotheses on age-related changes in emotional expression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Psychology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 29 May 2009 11:40
Last Modified: 29 May 2009 11:40
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1528-3542.4.4.389
Status: Published
Publisher: The American Psychological Association
Identification Number: 10.1037/1528-3542.4.4.389
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6082

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