AbstractSince the introduction of empirical methods for studying facial expression, the interpretation of infant facial expressions has generated much debate. The premise of this paper is that action tendencies of approach and withdrawal constitute a core organizational feature of emotion in humans, promoting coherence of behavior, facial signaling and physiological responses. The approach/withdrawal framework can provide a taxonomy of contexts and the neurobehavioral framework for the systematic, empirical study of individual differences in expression, physiology, and behavior within individuals as well as across contexts over time. By adopting this framework in developmental work on basic emotion processes, it may be possible to better understand the behavioral principles governing facial displays, and how individual differences in them are related to physiology and behavior, function in context.
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