The early self has dual orgins in (1) a set of biologically prepared motives and (2) interactions with emotionally available caregivers. We think of self as an organizing mental process and as a regulator of experience. Most emotionally engaging experiences in infancy are stored as procedural knowledge and are made use of in ways that are not accessible to consciousness; such experiences nonetheless contribute substantially to an "affective core" of a dynamic self. Recent research also leads us to the view that the early self is a moral one. Significant variations in the moral self occur in both developmental and social contexts, and these variations point to the need for further research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health