12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Contagious crying beyond the first days of life
View graph of relations

« Back

Contagious crying beyond the first days of life

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date06/2010
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Journal number3
Volume33
Number of pages10
Pages279-288
Original languageEnglish

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.