Title

Emotion Displays in Storybooks within American Culture

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Event

Faculty Mentor Name

Jessica Grady

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Various outlets help children learn about emotions. Storybooks are one of the primary useful tools in this teaching of emotion. Emotion content in picture books varies across cultures and this variation has been a focus of past research (Tsai et al., 2007; Suprawati et al., 2014). In the present study, we analyzed popular story books in the U.S. whose characters and content represent three major ethnic groups within American culture, specifically African American, Asian American, and Hispanic/ Latino groups. We examined storybooks geared toward children ages 2 to 3 years. We identified books listed under “Best Sellers” on Amazon.com overall along with books listed as Best Sellers within subheadings listed under “Geography and Cultures” that were advertised as a way to inform children about the three diverse cultures (i.e., African American, Asian American, Hispanic and Latino). Coding is ongoing. For each page of the storybooks, we coded the main character as either showing emotion or no emotion. For each emotion displayed, a discrete emotion label was coded, i.e. happiness, sadness, excitement etc. Each emotion display was also coded for intensity of expression (coded from low (1) to high (3)). The main character’s level of arousal was also coded as low (e.g., sitting), moderate (e.g., walking), or high (e.g., running) (Tsai et al., 2007). Each page was also coded for social context. Social context was coded as in-group (familiar others such as parents), out-group (strangers), mixed, or alone (Wege et al., 2014). We expect happiness to be portrayed more than any other emotion across all groups of books. We also expected Asian American picture books to show low emotional arousal compared to books from other groups. Understanding variation in storybooks in American culture may facilitate understanding of variations in how children express emotions.

Location

Vereschagin Alumni House

Start Date

3-5-2020 5:30 PM

End Date

3-5-2020 6:30 PM

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May 3rd, 5:30 PM May 3rd, 6:30 PM

Emotion Displays in Storybooks within American Culture

Vereschagin Alumni House

Various outlets help children learn about emotions. Storybooks are one of the primary useful tools in this teaching of emotion. Emotion content in picture books varies across cultures and this variation has been a focus of past research (Tsai et al., 2007; Suprawati et al., 2014). In the present study, we analyzed popular story books in the U.S. whose characters and content represent three major ethnic groups within American culture, specifically African American, Asian American, and Hispanic/ Latino groups. We examined storybooks geared toward children ages 2 to 3 years. We identified books listed under “Best Sellers” on Amazon.com overall along with books listed as Best Sellers within subheadings listed under “Geography and Cultures” that were advertised as a way to inform children about the three diverse cultures (i.e., African American, Asian American, Hispanic and Latino). Coding is ongoing. For each page of the storybooks, we coded the main character as either showing emotion or no emotion. For each emotion displayed, a discrete emotion label was coded, i.e. happiness, sadness, excitement etc. Each emotion display was also coded for intensity of expression (coded from low (1) to high (3)). The main character’s level of arousal was also coded as low (e.g., sitting), moderate (e.g., walking), or high (e.g., running) (Tsai et al., 2007). Each page was also coded for social context. Social context was coded as in-group (familiar others such as parents), out-group (strangers), mixed, or alone (Wege et al., 2014). We expect happiness to be portrayed more than any other emotion across all groups of books. We also expected Asian American picture books to show low emotional arousal compared to books from other groups. Understanding variation in storybooks in American culture may facilitate understanding of variations in how children express emotions.