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The role of emotions in the development and organization of personality.
Nebr Symp Motiv. 1988; 36:1-56.NS

Abstract

In this chapter I have attempted to introduce a model of personality development that emphasizes the important contribution of emotional experiences, specifically differential emotional experiences. I have suggested that in the course of development children acquire affect-specific emotional organizations that then influence the way they subsequently engage the world. The attachment literature has led in establishing that early, formative social interactions with caregivers affect, in consequential ways, the nature of the subsequent parent-child bond and the child's social competence and cognitive skills. The discrete-emotions analysis undertaken here suggests it may be informative to learn more about the specific types of emotional exchanges that go on between infants and their caregivers. From this we may be able to understand more about differential personality development. In this chapter I also attempted to establish the case for the existence of emotional biases in adults and to show that these emotional biases appear to have rudimentary counterparts in infants and young children. I suggested that differential emotional biases are acquired developmentally in the context of differential social ecologies that elicit and emphasize certain emotions over others. Several mechanisms were proposed to account for the consolidation of emotional biases over time, including social learning principles, contagion and self-regulation, language, and the formation of cognitively mediated emotion loops. Once these kinds of ideoaffective organizations (Tomkins, 1963) or affective-cognitive structures (Izard, 1977) that are embodied in emotional organizations have taken shape, they tend to be self-sustaining without further "emotion socialization" from caregivers and other family members, although the wider social environment may continue to reinforce emotional biases, as is evident in the Dodge et al. (1986) study. Does this mean that emotional organizations established early in life will resist subsequent change? I suggest that cognition and feeling experience are capable of contributing to either further consolidation of emotional organizations and their dominance in personality and behavior or the forging of a new developmental path. Although emotion and cognition tend to sustain one another within emotion organizations, experience teaches that one can discover one's own "modes of states of mind" and deploy this information in the service of enlightened self-management (although there may be limitations on this ability, especially if the organization is of the more inflexible form found in psychopathology [Malatesta & Wilson, 1988]).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Authors+Show Affiliations

Long Island University.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

3078934

Citation

Malatesta, C Z.. "The Role of Emotions in the Development and Organization of Personality." Nebraska Symposium On Motivation. Nebraska Symposium On Motivation, vol. 36, 1988, pp. 1-56.
Malatesta CZ. The role of emotions in the development and organization of personality. Nebr Symp Motiv. 1988;36:1-56.
Malatesta, C. Z. (1988). The role of emotions in the development and organization of personality. Nebraska Symposium On Motivation. Nebraska Symposium On Motivation, 36, 1-56.
Malatesta CZ. The Role of Emotions in the Development and Organization of Personality. Nebr Symp Motiv. 1988;36:1-56. PubMed PMID: 3078934.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The role of emotions in the development and organization of personality. A1 - Malatesta,C Z, PY - 1988/1/1/pubmed PY - 1988/1/1/medline PY - 1988/1/1/entrez SP - 1 EP - 56 JF - Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation JO - Nebr Symp Motiv VL - 36 N2 - In this chapter I have attempted to introduce a model of personality development that emphasizes the important contribution of emotional experiences, specifically differential emotional experiences. I have suggested that in the course of development children acquire affect-specific emotional organizations that then influence the way they subsequently engage the world. The attachment literature has led in establishing that early, formative social interactions with caregivers affect, in consequential ways, the nature of the subsequent parent-child bond and the child's social competence and cognitive skills. The discrete-emotions analysis undertaken here suggests it may be informative to learn more about the specific types of emotional exchanges that go on between infants and their caregivers. From this we may be able to understand more about differential personality development. In this chapter I also attempted to establish the case for the existence of emotional biases in adults and to show that these emotional biases appear to have rudimentary counterparts in infants and young children. I suggested that differential emotional biases are acquired developmentally in the context of differential social ecologies that elicit and emphasize certain emotions over others. Several mechanisms were proposed to account for the consolidation of emotional biases over time, including social learning principles, contagion and self-regulation, language, and the formation of cognitively mediated emotion loops. Once these kinds of ideoaffective organizations (Tomkins, 1963) or affective-cognitive structures (Izard, 1977) that are embodied in emotional organizations have taken shape, they tend to be self-sustaining without further "emotion socialization" from caregivers and other family members, although the wider social environment may continue to reinforce emotional biases, as is evident in the Dodge et al. (1986) study. Does this mean that emotional organizations established early in life will resist subsequent change? I suggest that cognition and feeling experience are capable of contributing to either further consolidation of emotional organizations and their dominance in personality and behavior or the forging of a new developmental path. Although emotion and cognition tend to sustain one another within emotion organizations, experience teaches that one can discover one's own "modes of states of mind" and deploy this information in the service of enlightened self-management (although there may be limitations on this ability, especially if the organization is of the more inflexible form found in psychopathology [Malatesta & Wilson, 1988]).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) SN - 0146-7875 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/3078934/The_role_of_emotions_in_the_development_and_organization_of_personality_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -