Specifics of Perception of Verbal Indications and Graphic Expressions of Basic Emotions by Children of Elementary and Middle School Age



The work studied the components of emotional competence of children of primary and secondary school age using the method of semantic differential. An analysis was made of differences in the distribution of verbal designation assessments and a comparison of the assessment profiles of verbal designations and graphic expressions (of different levels of severity) of 9 basic emotions. It is shown that the lowest level of differences in the assessments of verbal designations of children of primary and secondary school age is observed for the emotions of “joy”, “anger”, “fear” and “disgust”; the most different assessments are “interest”, “contempt” and “shame”; “guilt”, “surprise” and “sadness” occupy an intermediate position. The affective vocabulary of children of primary school age is represented by affective concepts understood at the level of children of secondary school age: “joy”, “anger” and “fear”; as well as characteristics that are extremely pronounced in terms of valence — “friendly / hostile”, and associated with communication needs — “social / unsociable”. The results obtained can be useful in the further use of graphic expressions of basic emotions as a stimulus material for studying the characteristics of perception and in the procedures for self-assessment of emotions when working with children of primary and secondary school age.

General Information

Keywords: perception of emotions by children, semantic differential, affective concepts, graphic expressions of basic emotions

Journal rubric: Face Science

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/exppsy.2022150308

Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grant No. 19-013-00958, “Dynamics of Induced Emotional States in Primary and Secondary School Children”.

Acknowledgements. The team of authors would like to thank Elena Anatolyevna Rodionova, Director of MBEI “Secondary School No. 1”, Kolchugino (Vladimir Region), and Elena Georgievna Romanova, Director of MBEI “Secondary School No. 3”, Gorokhovets (Ryazan Region), for their help in organizing the study.

Received: 20.12.2021


For citation: Khoze E.G., Basiul I.A., Lupenko E.A., Yuryeva M.V., Marinova M.M. Specifics of Perception of Verbal Indications and Graphic Expressions of Basic Emotions by Children of Elementary and Middle School Age. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 100–120. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150308. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Bylkina N.D., Lyusin D.V. Razvitie predstavlenii detei ob emotsiyakh v ontogeneze // Voprosy psikhologii. 2000. № 5. P. 38—48.
  2. Gordeeva O.V. Razvitie u detei predstavlenii ob ambivalentnosti emotsii // Vopr. psikhol. 1994. № 6. P. 26—36.
  3. Izard K. Psikhologiya emotsii / Per. s angl. V. Misnik, A. Tatlybaeva. SPb.: Piter, 1999. 460 p.
  4. Khoze E.G., Basul I.A., Lupenko E.A., Yuryeva M.V., Marinova M.M. Semanticheskoe skhodstvo i razlichie v otsenkakh verbal’nykh oboznachenii bazovykh emotsii det’mi mladshego shkol’nogo vozrasta i vzroslymi // Eksperimental’naya psikhologiya. 2021. V. 14. № 3. P. 138—151. DOI:10.17759/exppsy.2021140310
  5. Khoze E.G., Lupenko E.A., Yuryeva M.V., Marinova M.M., Basul I.A. Glava 27.Emodzi-ekspressii bazovykh emotsii, kak stimul’nyi material dlya issledovaniya emotsional’noi sfery detei. V knige: Litso cheloveka v kontekstakh prirody, tekhnologii i kul’tury. Moskovskii institut psikhoanaliza. Moskva, 2021. P. 421—431.
  6. Beck L., Kumschick I.R., Eid M., Klann-Delius G. Relationship between language competence and emotional competence in middle childhood. Emotion. Advance online publication. 2011, December 12. DOI:10.1037/a0026320
  7. Blair C. School readiness: Integrating cognition and emotion in a neurobiological conceptualization of children’s functioning at school entry. American Psychologist. 2002. V. 57 P. 111—127. DOI:10.1037/0003-066x 57.2.111
  8. Bloom L. Language development and emotional expression. Pediatrics. 1998. 102. 1272-7. P. 119. DOI:10.1542/peds.102.SE1.1272
  9. Bohnert A.M., Crnic K.A., Lim K.G. Emotional competence and aggressive behavior in school-age children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 2003. V. 31. P. 79—91. DOI:10.1023/A:1021725400321
  10. Bormann-Kischkel C., Hildebrand-Pascher S. The development of emotional concepts: A replication of a German sample // Inter. J. Behav. Devel. 1990. V. 13. P. 355—372.
  11. Denham S.A. Emotional development in young children. NY: Guilford Press. 1998.
  12. Denham S.A., Couchoud E.A. Young preschoolers’ understanding of emotions. Child Study Journal. 1990. V. 20. P. 171—192.
  13. Donaldson S.K., Westerman N.A. Development of children’s understanding of ambivalence and causal theories of emotions // Devel. Psychol. 1986. V. 26. P. 635—662.
  14. Ekman P., Friesen W.V. Pictures of facial affect. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. 1976.
  15. Garner P.W., Waajid B. The associations of emotion knowledge and teacher—child relationships to preschool children’s school-related developmental competence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 2008. V. 29. P. 89—100. DOI:10.1016/j.appdev.2007.12.001
  16. Gendron M., Lindquist K.A., Barsalou L., Barrett L.F. Emotion words shape emotion percepts. Emotion. 2012. V. 12. P. 314—325. DOI:10.1037/a0026007
  17. Harris P.L. Children’s understanding of the link between situation and emotion // J. Exp. Child Psychol. 1983. V. 36. P. 1—20.
  18. Harris P.L. Children and emotion: The development of psychological understanding. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell. 1989.
  19. Haviland J.M., Lelwica M. The induced affect response: 10-week-old infants’ responses to three emotion expressions. Developmental Psychology. 1987. V. 23. P. 97—104. DOI:10.1037/0012-1649.23.1.97
  20. Izard C.E. The face of emotion. New York, NY: Appleton Century Crofts. 1971.
  21. Izard C.E. Innate and universal facial expressions: Evidence from developmental and cross-cultural research. Psychological Bulletin. 1994. V. 2. P. 288—299. DOI:10.1037/0033-2909.115.2.288
  22. Izard C.E. Fine S., Schultz D., Mostow A., Ackerman B.P., Youngstrom E.A. Emotion knowledge as a predictor of social behavior and academic competence in children at risk. Psychological Science. 2001. V. 12. P. 18—23. DOI:10.1111/1467-9280.00304
  23. Izard C.E., Harris P.L. “Emotional development and developmental psychopathology”. Developmental Psychopathology. Theory and Methods. Eds. D.J. Cohen and D.V. Cicchetti. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons. 1995. V. 1. P. 467—503.
  24. Kumschick I.R., Beck L., Eid M., Witte G., Klann-Delius G., Heuser I., Steinlein R., Menninghaus W. Reading and feeling: the effects of a literature-based intervention designed to increase emotional competence in second and third graders. Front. Psychol. 2014. 5. Article 1448. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01448
  25. Lindquist K.A., Satpute A.B., Gendron M. Does Language Do More Than Communicate Emotion? V. 24. Issues 2. 2015. P. 99—108. DOI:10.1177/0963721414553440
  26. Russell J.A., Carroll J.M. Do facial expressions signal specific emotions? Judging emotion from the face in context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1996. V. 70. P. 205—218. DOI:10.1037/0022-3514.70.2.205
  27. Saarni C. The Development of Emotional Competence, 1st Edn. New York, NY: Guilford Press. 1999.
  28. Schalk J., Hawk S.T., Fischer A.H., Doosje B. Moving faces, looking places: Validation of the Amsterdam Dynamic Facial Expression Set (ADFES). Emotion. 2011. V. 11. P. 907—920.
  29. Schultz D., Izard, C.E., Ackerman B.P., Youngstrom E. A. Emotion knowledge in economically disadvantaged children: Selfregulatory antecedents and relations to social difficulties and withdrawal. Development and Psychopathology. 2001. V. 13. P. 53—67. DOI:10.1017/S0954579401001043
  30. Shariff A.F., Tracy J.L. What are emotion expressions for? Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2011. V. 20. P. 395—399.
  31. Southam-Gerow M.A., Kendall P.C. Emotion regulation and understanding: Implications for child psychopathology and therapy. Clinical Psychology Review. 2002. V. 22. P. 189—222.
  32. Tottenham N., Tanaka J.W., Leon A.C., McCarry T., Nurse M., Hare T.A., Nelson C. The NimStim set of facial expressions: Judgments from untrained research participants. Psychiatry Research. 2008. V. 15. P. 242—249. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2008.05.006
  33. Trentacosta C.J., Izard C.E. Kindergarten children’s emotion competence as a predictor of their academic competence in first grade. Emotion. 2007. V. 7. P. 77—88. DOI:10.1037/1528-3542.7.1.77
  34. Walker-Andrews A. Perceiving social affordances: The development of emotional understanding. In B.D. Homer & C.S. Tamis-LeMonda (Eds.). The development of social cognition and communication. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. 2005. P. 93—116.
  35. Widen S.C. Children’s Interpretation of Facial Expressions: The Long Path from Valence-Based to Specific Discrete Categories. Emotion Review. 2013. V. 5 No. 1. P. 72—77. DOI:10.1177/1754073912451492
  36. Widen S.C., Russell J.A. Children’s recognition of disgust in others. Psychological Bulletin. 2013. V. 139. P. 271—299.

Information About the Authors

Evgeny G. Khoze, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Head of the Laboratory of Experimental and Practical Psychology,Associate Professor, Department of General Psychology,Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9355-1693, e-mail: house.yu@gmail.com

Ivan A. Basiul, Junior Researcher. Laboratory of Cognitive Processes and Mathematical Psychology, Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lecturer of the Department of General Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Research laboratory assistant, Institute of Experimental Psychology of MSPPU, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3153-2096, e-mail: basul@inbox.ru

Elena A. Lupenko, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4026-7581, e-mail: elena-lupenko@yandex.ru

Mariya V. Yuryeva, Laboratory Assistant, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5137-6169, e-mail: yurevamv@mgppu.ru

Mariya M. Marinova, Assistant Director of the Institute of Experimental Psychology, Academic Services Specialist, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Postgraduate Student, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8862-4007, e-mail: marinovamm@yandex.ru



Total: 433
Previous month: 22
Current month: 22


Total: 135
Previous month: 5
Current month: 15