Babies readily demonstrate the classic facial expression of interest (curiosity). Of all our feelings, the affect of interest-excitement may be most crucial. Interest involves exploratory and learning activities. Read More
For some time now, we have been immersed in feelings. Most recently, we have explored the crucial feeling of interest (curiosity) and what enhances and inhibits it. Last month, we examined the ways in which curiosity can be constricted in infancy, i.e. the preverbal child. This month, we discuss how curiosity can be restricted as the child begins to use words. Read More
The affect of interest is responsible for our exploratory activities, learning, and adaptation. The key questions in development, then, are "What enhances interest?" and "What inhibits interest?" These questions are crucial to character structure, parenting, education, politics, and much more. Read More
In the various models of emotions, then, we see most make some reference to interest, or attention, or curiosity. This is true regardless of whether or not the model is more psychological or biological or integrated. The affect of interest is crucial. It is in the basis of our learning, gathering information, and adapting. Read More
During the past year, we have been exploring the three pillars of development: feelings, language, and cognition.
Over the next several months, we will explore more deeply what may be our two most significant feelings: interest and anger. We will start with interest (curiosity). Read More
Physical punishment is a major public health problem in this country. Approximately 60% of adults still approve of physical punishment, despite compelling evidence that it does not work, it makes things worse, and there are effective alternatives. If hitting a child is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. Read More
We are continuing with our exploration of infant, child, and adolescent development and three major developmental topics -- feelings, language, and cognition. This month we examine the last four of our nine earliest feelings: enjoyment, shame, disgust, and dissmell. Read More
How does it happen that the baby has so few specific responses—feelings, affects, whatever—to all the stimuli coming at her? How do all these stimuli get transformed into the very few signals—feelings—which allow the baby and parents to communicate? Read More
Tomkins defined these earliest feelings, or affects, as biological responses to stimuli. These responses are seen in the skin, vocal apparatus, musculature, autonomic nervous system, and particularly in the face. Read More
Why this focus on feelings? Two reasons in particular. First, feelings motivate us. Feelings lead to action. Feelings cause behaviors. Second, feelings are crucial because they allow for communication. Read More
We continue exploring the dramatic advances in understanding human nature and personality formation — what we call The Revolution in Infant and Child Development, and its three pillars of Feelings, Intelligence, and Language. Read More
How does one make sense of the history of the exploration of feelings -- the ancient as well as more recent philosophers, the development of psychiatry, the expression of emotions throughout literature and art? In many ways, the questions were similar to the ones we ask today: What are feelings? How are they triggered? How are feelings related to bodily sensations? Read More
Thanks to recent research, we now understand feelings—the answers are right in front of us. We know what the basic inborn feelings are, how they develop over the human life span, and, most importantly, how feelings work.
It is the story of how feelings motivate behavior, and how we still have not genuinely grasped that. It is about our struggle to understand the working of feelings in our close relationships and in general human interactions.
There is a revolution occurring in infant and child development. This is having a profound impact on our understanding of the motives and behavior of human beings.
There are three areas which are fueling this revolution: feelings, intelligence, and language. We will discuss the remarkable potential created when one looks at these three elements together. Read More
The Power of Translation: Before an infant can talk, translation comes into play as a parent tries to decipher the meanings—or feelings—behind an infant’s use of facial expressions and vocalizations. These feelings are expressed through facial expressions, bodily gestures, and vocalizations. Read More
The toddler years provide spectacular opportunities for enhancing intellectual and emotional development. Language is a large part of this, opening up an entire new world of growth during the early years. And to hear a toddler begin to talk is an astonishing and poignant moment. Read More
In our last several Newsletters, we have discussed the transition from infant to toddler. This change from infant to toddler occurs approximately from 1-3 years of age. This month we will start a three-part discussion of the third aspect of toddlerhood: language. Read More
Daniel Goleman, in his wonderful book Emotional Intelligence, highlights the importance of understanding our emotional life. He says the purpose of his voyage is “to bring intelligence to emotions” (p. xii). This is right on target! Read More
Over the past several months, we have discussed the three essential aspects of early development: feelings, language, and intelligence. We looked at feelings, why they are important, and how they motivate us ― what they are, how they work, and how they lead to behaviors. Read More
In our recent newsletters, we have focused on the transition from infant to toddler. We suggested that three important aspects of development occur during this period which can help us understand toddlers. Read More
In the last several posts, we have been focusing on the transition from infancy to toddlerhood. In particular, we have highlighted the onset of language, and the importance of translating the child's early words back to the feelings these words express. Read More
When we talk about the importance of language, we almost automatically think in terms of when the child begins to speak. But long before your child speaks, she is listening—and understanding far more than we used to think. Read More