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Contagious crying beyond the first days of life

Geangu, Elena and Benga, Oana and Stahl, Daniel and Striano, Tricia (2010) Contagious crying beyond the first days of life. Infant Behavior and Development, 33 (3). pp. 279-288. ISSN 0163-6383

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Abstract

Newborns cry in response to another newborn cry and researchers agree that these are the very early signs of empathy development. Yet, little is known about the development of these affect sharing reactions in infancy, beyond the very first few days after birth. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of contagious cry phenomenon in infancy. Infants aged 1-, 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old were presented with the sound of another infant cry vocalizations. Their emotional reactions were recorded in terms of vocal (presence of vocal distress, latency, and intensity) and facial (anger and sadness) expressions of emotions. Results show that during the presentation of a pain cry sound, 1, 3, 6, and 9 months old infants manifest increased vocal and facial expressions of distress. These affect sharing reactions do not decrease with age. Both boys and girls manifest similar levels of contagious crying reactions. The results are discussed in terms of early empathy development.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Infant Behavior and Development
Uncontrolled Keywords: infancy ; empathy ; affect sharing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 59887
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 08 Nov 2012 09:49
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2013 15:25
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/59887

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