Social-Emotional Development Tasks

In order to understand young children’s capacity to deal with emotional experiences and to interact adaptively with others in the social world, we developed a test battary for children aged 1 to 5 years.

 

The following tasks are included in the test battery:

Empathy observation task

Emotion recognition tasks

Emotion attribution task

Theory-of-Mind tasks

 

Empathy observation task: This task examines children’s empathic responses to emotional displays. The experimenter acts out three different emotion episodes (happiness, anger, pain/sadness), while the child watches. Children's reactions will be scored on a 20-item checklist.

  • To cite this task: 
    Rieffe, C., Ketelaar, L., & Wiefferink, C. H. (2010). Assessing empathy in young children: Construction and validation of an Empathy Questionnaire (EmQue). Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 362–367. 
    Ketelaar, L., Rieffe, C., Wiefferink, C. H., & Frijns, J. H. M. (2013). Social competence and empathy in young children with cochlear implants and with normal hearing. Laryngoscope, 123, 518–523. 

 

Emotion recognition tasks: The tasks examine children's ablity to discriminate and identify emotions. In the discrimination task, children need to sort cards according to the facial emotion expressions illustrated on the cards. There are a between-valence condition (e.g., happy vs. angry faces) and a within-valence condition (e.g., sad vs. angry faces). In the identification task, children need to link emotion words to four basic facial emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, and anger) shown in the drawings.

  • To cite this task:
    Wiefferink, C.H., Rieffe, C., Ketelaar, L., De Raeve, L., & Frijns, J.H.M. (2013). Emotion understanding in deaf children with a cochlear implant. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18, 175-186. 
    Rieffe, C., & Wiefferink, C.H. (2017). Happy faces, sad faces; Emotion understanding in toddlers and preschoolers with language impairments. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 62, 40-49.

 

Emotion attribution task: This task includes eight vignettes depicting prototypical emotion-eliciting situations, two vignettes for each of the basic emotions (happiness, anger, sadness, and fear), to test children's ability to attribute emotion to a situation. Children were shown drawings with a simple signed or spoken explanation. For each vignette, a verbal condition (to say or sign the feeling of the protagonist) and a visual condition (to point at the drawing with the correct facial expression) are given.

  • To cite this task:
    Wiefferink, C.H., Rieffe, C., Ketelaar, L., De Raeve, L., & Frijns, J.H.M. (2013). Emotion understanding in deaf children with a cochlear implant. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18, 175-186. 
    Rieffe, C., & Wiefferink, C.H. (2017). Happy faces, sad faces; Emotion understanding in toddlers and preschoolers with language impairments. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 62, 40-49.

 

Theory-of-Mind tasks: A series of tasks are developed to measure children's understanding of intention (intention with regard to an object and joint attention), desire, and false belief. The intention tasks examine children's joint attention and ability to understand other people's intention with regard to an object. In the desire tasks, children see vignettes and have to understand the protagonist's desires when their own preference is the same or in conflict with the protagonist's preference. The false-belief task is an adaptation from Baron-Cohen, Leslie, and Frith’s (1985) Sally-Anne Task. Children see a picture story about the location of a paper airplane and need to understand the false belief of the protagonist.

  • To cite this task: 
    Ketelaar, L., Rieffe, C., Wiefferink, C.H., & Frijns, J.H.M. (2012). Does hearing lead to understanding? Theory of mind in toddlers and preschoolers with cochlear implants. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 37, 1041-1050.

 

For more details or questions about the tasks above, please contact Yung-Ting Tsou, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..