Self-conscious Emotions - Description of Self Conscious Emotions

Description of Self Conscious Emotions

During the second year of life, new emotions begin to emerge when children gain the understanding that they themselves are entities distinct from other people and begin to develop a sense of self. These emotions include:

  • Shame
  • Pride
  • Guilt
  • Envy
  • Embarrassment

Self-conscious emotions have been shown to have social benefits. These include areas such as reinforcing social behaviours and reparation of social errors. There is also possible research suggesting that a lack of self-conscious emotion is a contributing cause of bad behaviour.

They have five distinct features that differentiate them from other emotions

  • Require self-awareness and self representation
  • Emerge later than basic emotions
  • Facilitate attainment of complex social goals
  • Do not have distinct universally recognized facial expressions
  • Cognitively complex

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