Zbornik Instituta za pedagoska istrazivanja 2010 Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages: 7-26
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Holodynski and Friedlmeyer's internalization model: Overview and criticism of a modern theory of emotional development
The paper presents a modern theory of emotional development - the Holodynski and Friedlmeyer's theory, as well as the criticism pointed at this theory. The author presents the key tenets of the theory: that emotional expressions of an infant are nonfocused, that the caregiver interprets and mirrors infant expressions, that an infant then imitates the expressions mirrored in such a way, that before speech occurs the expressions are transformed into signs, that those signs become internalized around the age of six, that auto-regulation later originates from social regulation of emotions. The author points out to similarities of this theory to the L. S. Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development. The critical commentary of the theory focuses on some of its shortcomings. First, the theory does not offer sufficient evidence in favor of the claim about the internalization of expressive signs. Second, some research findings contradict the assumption of caregiver's mirroring of infant's emotional expressions. Third, the internalization assumption implies that the (internalized) sign does not only refer to, but even creates emotional feelings. Finally, the paper points out the various inconsistencies present in Holodynski and Friedlmeyer's text. The advantageous aspects of this theory are reflected in encompassing the whole life span and carrying important educational implications.
Keywords: Vygotsky, internalization, expressive signs, emotional development, social construction of emotions
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