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Tip: To review the bibliography…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Seligman, S. (1994). Infant Observation: Affect and the Development of the Self: A New Frontier. E. V. Demos. In Frontiers in Self Psychology: Progress in Self Psychology, Volume 3, ed. A. Goldberg. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1988. Pp. 27-53.. Psychoanal Q., 63:397.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Infant Observation: Affect and the Development of the Self: A New Frontier. E. V. Demos. In Frontiers in Self Psychology: Progress in Self Psychology, Volume 3, ed. A. Goldberg. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1988. Pp. 27-53.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:397

Infant Observation: Affect and the Development of the Self: A New Frontier. E. V. Demos. In Frontiers in Self Psychology: Progress in Self Psychology, Volume 3, ed. A. Goldberg. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1988. Pp. 27-53.

Stephen Seligman

The author argues that most previous discussions of early development—both psychoanalytic and empirical—have underestimated the sophistication of the neonate's capacity to process and use affects, and, consequently, the role of affect in early psychic development. Basic research on affect, including that of Tomkins, Ekman and Izard, is interpreted to suggest that very young infants are aware of specific affects as well as of such general properties of affects as the hedonic tone and the level and rate of change of stimulation. With such capacities, the infant's efforts to regulate affect states are an essential motivation and provide the basis for senses of personal organization, continuity, agency, and stability; since affect has both proprioceptive and communicational value, it forms an essential bridge in the infant's experience of coherence and organization in both the individual domain (an essential part of "self") and in interaction with caregiver environment as it supports the infant's regulatory capacities.

Demos presents her approach as an elaboration and extension of Sander's overall regulatory systems approach and his particular emphasis on infant state organization as the earliest organizer. Two extended examples of "affect biographies," starting with very early infancy, are offered.

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Article Citation

Seligman, S. (1994). Infant Observation. Psychoanal. Q., 63:397

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