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Emotional Expression

Emotional expression is an essential component of social communication between persons of all ages. Emotions may be expressed via facial expressions, vocalizations, body postures, body movements, and words. Although facial expression has been the focus of most research, this is only one of many cues that people may use to discern another person’s emotion. This entry describes the historical basis for current studies of emotional expression, the emergence and development of emotional expressions in infancy and beyond, socialization influences on emotional expression, and overall age differences in emotional expressivity.

Historical Basis

Charles Darwin is considered the father of contemporary research and scholarship on emotional expression. In his seminal volume, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, Darwin described expressions for a wide range of human ...

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