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What would an integrative constructivist psychology look like?

Adult Development through the Abstract Tier

The next broad tier of skill development consists of the development of abstractions. Abstractions consist of ideas about intangible, hypothetical, generalized, or unimaginable meanings. Abstractions are the product of "abstracting" what is common or typical to multiple concrete instances of a concept. For example, because the statement, "My mom is important to me because she takes me to hockey" contains reference to concrete, imaginable, and tangible content, it functions at the representational tier of development. However, the statement "My family is important to me because without them, I couldn't do all of the things that I do" makes reference to generalized rather than concrete events (i.e., "all the things that I do"). As such, it begins to operate within the abstract tier of development. Development within the abstract tier begins to occur around 10-11 years of age in social contexts that support its development. However, as skills move into the abstract tier, attainting higher levels of skill becomes increasingly difficult. This is because each new level of development requires the integration of increasingly large amounts of meaningful information within particular conceptual domains. Higher levels of development are attainable only after a great deal of active and integrative experience within particular conceptual domains. As such, although pre-teens gain the capacity to construct single abstractions around 10-11 years of age, much of adult development occurs through the abstract tier of development (Mascolo & Fischer, 2010).

To illustrate the developmental construction of meaning over the course of adulthood, we draw upon a study exploring developmental changes in what makes life meaningful over the lifespan (Mascolo & Fischer, 2010). To explore this question, we asked individuals between the ages of 18 and 80 to respond to the question, "What are the most important things in your life?" Our intention was to extract higher-order integrative representations of the self that we call core goal representations. Core goal representations identify the higher order goal structures that superordinate, drive, and give meaning to a person's local life projects. For example, the first level of the abstraction tier of development consists of single abstractions (L10/Ab1). Abstractions develop as pre-teens gain the capacity to coordinate and abstract over at least two lower-level representational systems to form a single abstraction. The transition from the representational to the abstract tier of development is shown in on the left hand side of the single abstractions level Figure 3. When asked about the most important thing in his life, one 12-year-old boy organized his response around the concept of family: "My family. I need my family. Without my family, I couldn't do all of the things that I am able to do." This budding abstraction "superordinates" over lower-level concrete examples of this statement, such as "I get to act in plays", "my parents give me advice" and "without them, I wouldn't have my computer." A second example of a single abstraction was provided by an 18-25 year-old man (indicated on the right hand side of the single abstractions level in Figure 3). This individual organized the most important things in his life around the abstract concept of responsibility:

   School, work and relationships. I think that the general idea is
   responsibility. In school, you have to be responsible and study to
   keep up with assignments. At work, you have to be on time and be
   focused on what needs to be done. In relationships, you have to
   give time and attention to the other person.


Abstractions do not function as mere ruminations that occur outside of the context of action. Abstractions mediate higher-order modes of thinking, feeling and acting. We use abstractions to organize and regulate thinking, feeling and acting within particular contexts. For example, in stating, "Without my family, I couldn't do all of the things that I am able to do," the boy expresses a type of enduring gratitude toward his parents. Such an emotional state is organized by the boy's capacity to use abstractions to organize and regulate his feelings and actions toward his parents.

As indicated in Figure 3, the next level within the abstract tier, abstract mappings (L11/Ab2), begins to develop between 15-16 years of age in contexts that support their construction. Abstract mappings are representations of relations between two or more independent abstractions. The abstract mapping depicted in Figure 3 describes a core goal structure of a 26-35 year-old woman:

   Family is most important and it comes ahead of your career or
   money. However, you must reach your dreams and earn money in order
   to be a fulfilled person and bring joy to the family. If you are
   disgruntled, then you would not be an asset to your family.


This individual identifies her core goals in terms of the relationship between the abstract concepts of family and career/selfhood. For this woman, the route to "bringing joy to one's family" requires "reaching your dreams" and "earning money" in order to become a fulfilled person."

The next level within the abstract tier consists of abstract systems (Ll2/Ab3) and begins to develop around 17-18 years of age. Abstract systems arise from the coordination of two or more lower level abstract mappings. The next protocol was articulated by a 55-65 year-old woman, and provides an example of a core goal representation at the level of abstract systems (L12/Ab3).

   Completing my current two-year project, finding work and a
   lifestyle that will give me happiness, coming to terms with getting
   older. These things put together the person I want to/can become.
   The first two fit together chronologically. I will complete the
   first goal and by that time my second goal will be completed, and
   who knows what will be most important at that time? The third ...
   arcs above the first two, because finding your place in life is
   important. Once you find your niche ... you can be prepared to face
   the fact that you're getting older. While things seem to get more
   stable as you age, they do still change, and you have to be
   flexible.


As indicated in Figure 3, this core goal representation is composed of integrated relations involving various aspects of work and self. The individual sees the goal of completing his long-term project (work) as the chronological precursor to finding meaningful work and a lifestyle that will bring happiness (self). These two processes will provide the vehicle through which the speaker can be the person (self) he wants to become. As time passes, finding a niche in life will provide the preparation for coming to terms with getting older (self) and finding a place or niche in life (work, self). This complex goal representation coordinates and gives meaning to a suite of major and minor life projects.

At the highest level of skill development, an adult is able to bring together multiple abstract systems into a single coordinated principle (L13/Ab4). The following principled-based core goal representation was provided by a 65-75 year-old woman, and is organized around the faith-based principle that "I am the fortunate [spiritual] traveler."

   My faith ... underlies all other important relationships in my
   life. It connects me to other people and events and overlies a
   structure on my entire life. My faith has deepened as I have aged,
   and I turn over everything stressful to God. [Faith gives me the
   belief that] this journey is guided and is meaningful. It imbues my
   life with a surety, with love, and with acceptance. This has helped
   me to put loss in perspective, and to understand the importance of
   friends and families over material possessions. My faith defines my
   values and priorities, and allows me to demonstrate love to my
   family and my friends. My family is my glue! I enjoy being with
   them, doing things, enjoying new experiences.... I have a hierarchy
   of friends. Friendships are so important because they take me out
   of myself. I feel they support me, and I support them. These things
   cannot be separated. They are all guiding forces in my life,
   instill meaning to my life, and define who I am. My faith
   reinforces my belief that I am traveling on a journey of purpose,
   and my family and friends are my guides on that journey. This [is
   what] makes for a spiritual life. My faith gave me the path, my
   children forged it, and my friends illuminate it. I am the
   fortunate traveler.


As indicated in Figure 3, this complex protocol brings together two abstract systems into a single coordinated structure. This woman's organizes her core goal representation around four inter-coordinated abstractions: faith, life, family and friends. Her faith "underlies other important relationships" and "overlies a structure on my life." Her faith defines the "values and priorities" in her life, and imbues it with "surety, love and acceptance." Her family is her "glue" to whom she shows "love" through her faith. She also enjoys a "hierarchy" of friends with whom she gives and receives "support" Her family and friends are "guiding force" that "instill meaning in my life, and define who I am." Using her friends and family as guides, she "travels on a [spiritual] journey of purpose"

BEYOND THE INDIVIDUAL: COACTION WITHIN THE PERSON-ENVIRONMENT SYSTEM

Up until this point, the discussion has focused on the processes involved in the construction of meaning as it occurs within individual actors. However, at best, this describes only part of the process by which meanings are constructed. A more complete model of process of meaning construction must include but go beyond individual acts of construction. Individual acts of construction operate only as a part of a larger coactive person-environment system (Gottlieb & Lickliter, 2007; Mascolo & Fischer, 2010). Figure 4 displays a model of the person-environment system. The coactive-person environment system is composed of five categories: (a) an individual actor; (b) other people, (c) the objects of joint action; (d) cultural tools and meditational means; and (e) broader socio-cultural systems. We have already discussed the functioning of individual actors and the ways in which the elements of action mutually regulate each other. In elaborating the nature of the person-environment system, it is necessary to examine how various elements of the system co-act in the production of individual and joint action. The primary assumption of coactive system theory is the lack of independence among systems and system components: Although the components of the person-environment system are conceptually distinct, they are inseparable as causal processes in the construction of meaning and action.

Communication and the Co-Regulation of Social Action

The key to understanding how processes regarded as distinct can nonetheless be inseparable as causal processes lies in the ways in which we conceptualize the process of human communication. We often think of human communication as a discrete and sequential process. From this view, in order for communication to occur, there must be a sender, a receiver, and a message. The process begins with the sender, who constructs a thought that functions as the basis of the message. The sender translates the thought into a language or code and then passes the resulting message through a communication channel. When the message reaches its destination, the receiver must first decode it, translating it into thought so that it can be understood. At that point, the receiver and the sender can switch roles; the sender becomes the receiver and vice-versa. The process continues as the former receiver adopts the role of sender and thereupon sends a new message. The defining feature of the discrete state model of communication is that at any given time, an individual can only operate as a sender or a receiver; a person cannot be a sender and a receiver at the same time. Further, each step in the transmission process is discrete and separable from each other step. The sender autonomously creates the message. Once constructed, the message remains fixed until it passes through a set communication channel. Only after receiving the message can the receiver switch roles and become the sender.

This model works well for understanding communication systems such as mail, email, texting, or similar systems. However, it breaks down when applied to an analysis of direct communication. In face-to-face communication, individuals continuously operate as senders and receivers at the same time. In face-to-face interaction, interlocutors communicate continuously in a variety of verbal and nonverbal ways. For example, when Sally begins to speak, Harry looks into her eyes and waits. As Sally speaks, Harry nods his head to indicate his understanding. Seeing that Harry understands her point, Sally decides to consolidate what she is saying. As she does so, Harry momentarily shifts his gaze away from Sally's eyes. Seeing this as an expression of Harry's desire to speak, Sally concludes her statement. In this example, both Harry and Sally are simultaneously "senders" and "receivers" of meaning. In this example, while Sally communicates verbally, Harry uses verbal (e.g., uh huh) and nonverbal action to communicate his understanding. In so doing, Sally's "message" changes during the course of both its construction and communication. In this way, the "message" is constructed jointly as a product of processes that occur between Harry and Sally. Harry's actions are an inseparable part of the process of Sally's communication, and vice-versa. As a result, concepts such as "sender," "receiver," "transmission," and "message" begin to lose their meaning in analyses of face-to-face communication.

The continuous nature of face-to-face communication has important implications for the ways in which we think about the control of individual action. In face-to-face communication, social partners simultaneously and continuously adjust their thoughts, feelings, and actions to the ongoing and anticipated actions of each other. As a result, neither partner is autonomous in the regulation of his or her actions; instead, joint interaction is co-regulated (Fogel, 1993). Social partners function as part of the process of each other's actions. This transforms but does not diminish the idea that humans are active agents. Although humans are active agents, they are not autonomous agents. As such, rather than saying that humans control their actions, it is perhaps better to say that humans exert control over their actions. Although we exert control over our thoughts, feelings, and actions, we exercise control through our relations to objects, persons, and semiotic systems that extend beyond the skin, just as our capacity for control operates and emerges within the medium of our physical bodies.

The Concept of Mediational Means

Mediational means are the cultural tools that we use in order to complete individual and joint projects (Wertsch, 1998). The role of mediational means in the co-regulated construction of action is indicated at Point D in Figure 4. We use an axe to chop wood; a fireplace to hold the wood; and a book of matches to light the fire. In social action, our most useful tool for constructing and communicating higher-order meaning is language. Language is a system of arbitrary signs that we use for constructing, representing, and communicating shared social meanings. When we use language, we draw from our collective cultural repertoire of meanings in order to represent and regulate our experience in socially useful ways. In the example described above, responding to Harry's nodding head, Sally began to modify her communication even before Harry had an opportunity to speak. The generative potential of joint construction explodes as meanings collide and combine within verbal exchanges. When we use language to communicate meaning, we are essentially saying, "in this interaction, imagine that the world like this." Through language use, we do not simply share meanings, we play a role in the joint construction of novel meaning. There are few richer illustrations of how language mediates the joint construction of meaning than an analysis of psychological change over the course of psychotherapy.

TRACKING INDIVIDUAL CHANGE IN JOINT ACTION: THE DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY PROCESSES

In this section, we illustrate the processes by which meanings are co-created as a result of sign-mediated co-regulation that occurs between people in joint action. In so doing, drawing on the methods elaborated by Basseches and Mascolo (2010), we describe tools for tracking fine-grained changes in integrative psychological structures as they develop over the course of discourse and joint action. The basic tool for analyzing how individual development occurs within joint action is the discursive map. For any given unit of social interaction, a discursive map tracks how each partner's psychological structures change in relation to each other in real time. To illustrate the richly textured ways in which social partners co-construct novel meanings in social interaction, we examine moment-by-moment changes and jointly-produced patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting as they evolve over the course of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a particularly rich area for exploring how individual development occurs through joint action. Psychotherapy provides a microcosm of psychological development. Basseches and Mascolo (2010) have suggested that psychotherapeutic change functions as a developmental process. Clients enter psychotherapy as a response to some sort of adaptive conflict in their lives. When psychotherapy works, it promotes transformation in the structure of a client's thoughts, feelings, and actions. Over time, successful psychotherapy functions to create higher-order structures of thinking, feeling, and action that allow clients to manage, resolve, or transcend the adaptive conflicts that brought them into therapy.

In what follows, we provide a series of snapshots of key developmental moments in a single pivotal session of short-term "anxiety-regulating" dynamic therapy (McCullough, 1999). In so doing, we identify different developmental change process and the particular ways in which they result in key developmental changes over the course of the therapy session. The case used involves "The Lady Cloaked in Fog," a 42-year-old depressed woman who reported a long history of difficulty experiencing feelings of closeness (McCullough, 1999). The client had been in therapy for the last 24 years and had been seriously depressed for the entirety of her adult life. The client entered therapy experiencing deep depression over her sense of "not mattering" in the world. Specifically, the client experienced a sense that she "mattered on stage"--that is, at work when she was acting in the service of others--but did not matter when she was "off stage," that is, at home alone in her personal relationships.

Significant transformation in the structure of the client's thoughts, feelings and actions occurred over the course of the fifteenth session. During this session, the client was able to construct a higher-order emotionally-charged representation of her relationship to her therapist. In particular, the client was able to experience her therapist as a "harbor light"--a beacon of light that expressed the therapist's care for the client whether or not the client was "on shore" or "off shore," feeling "foggy" in "stormy seas." In this way, the client was able to experience herself as mattering to her therapist whether or not the client was "on stage" or "off stage":

   A harbor light is really helpful. [T: Yeah, so there is a storm?]
   Storms and fog ... It's the fog that is bothering me the most right
   now ... Yeah and it, right now I'm not feeling like that skulpy
   thing of being oarless in the boat. But sometimes I do, and how
   nice to think that if I just perk my little head up, that there's
   going to ... be a harbor light somewhere. And that we can ... we
   can talk about the bad stuff ... But, at the same time I don't have
   to go in that particular direction. A harbor light is useful
   because you know where it is and you can decide where you want to
   go relative to it... So I don't have to aim right for you. You can
   just be there.


The transition from the initial to the final state of the client's conflict is indicated in Figure 5. In what follows, we present a series of snapshots of four important episodes that occurred over the course of this single therapy session that set up the client's "harbor light insight." In so doing, we not only identify changes in integrative structures of thinking, feeling, and acting, but we also identify change processes that operate within and between client and therapist that result in the observed changes.

Episodes 1 & 2: Challenging Feelings of Not Mattering

Our analysis starts with the following dialogue between client and therapist:

C: Yeah. I guess that's it. It's like I, it's like when I'm at work, I matter, and when I go home, am by myself, I don't matter. It's sort of on or off. Um, on stage or off stage.

C: It blows my mind to think that there were a lot of days like that when I'd go home and, my God, you and Carol [client's previous therapist] were talking on the phone. It blows me away.

T: Yeah, that you might have been at home while Carol and I were talking about you . . . those were heartfelt conversations. Now, how did that feel, thinking about that?

C: Well, it's new and different and... and, um, shakes something very deep. Some real deep core belief.

T: Uh-huh. Put some words on it?

C: That I don't matter--and there I was mattering and I didn't even know it.

Figure 6 identifies the major structural changes that occur over the course of this episode. At the beginning of the episode (1), with expressed sadness the client represents her problem in terms of a conflictual relation (mapping) between "I matter 'onstage'" (at work, when doing things for others) but "I don't matter 'offstage'" (after hours; at home alone). Soon after articulating this distinction, shifting to a more ironic tone, the client (2) differentiated (DIFF) a concrete counter-example to her experience of "not mattering off stage"--namely that her present and previous therapists would talk about the client when the client was home alone ("off stage"). After a simple request by the therapist (3) to "put some words on it," the client brought together (integrated) (INT) two previously articulated meaning elements (i.e., "I matter" and "off stage") into the representation "I was mattering 'offstage.'" This representation stands in conflict with the previously articulated "I don't matter 'offstage.'"

Episodes 3 & 4: Do I Really Matter "Off Stage"?

Immediately after the client challenged her own sense of not mattering, she began to marginalize it. In reflecting on whether or not the client felt that her previous therapist cared about her "in her thoughts and in her heart," with anxiety and sadness the client said, "Thoughts, yeah. Heart, oh well, I don't know about heart." The client's initial anxiety about "mattering in her previous therapist's heart" is represented at point (1) in Figure 7. Responding to this statement, the following dialogue occurred as the therapist (2) asked the client to perform a thought experiment:

T: Well, let's just think about it this way. Is there somebody whom you work with in your job that you know is hurting or in pain, someone ... and then that you've gotten involved with and really want to see feel better, or feel sad about their pain? And when you think about them off hours you feel it in your heart?

C: (With positive affect and empathic concern) Yeah.

T: It's not some act--or just intellectual thought.

C: (Empathically) Oh yeah.

T: So you know that and so it's important.

C: Yeah and I do feel and I do know that.

In affirming the scenario implied in the therapist's thought experiment, the client (2 and 3) makes a differentiation between her sense of "not mattering in her previous therapist's heart" and her own capacity to feel empathically for co-workers who are in pain. In stating, "Yeah, I do feel and I do know that," the client entertains the possibility that her prior therapist may indeed have cared about the client "in her heart." The shift from (3) to (4) requires acts of coordination and inversion (INV). The client must coordinate her experience (i.e., "my co-workers matter to me offstage") with her conflicting representation of her therapist's experience (i.e., "I didn't matter to my therapist offstage"). To resolve this contradiction, the client must invert (i.e., "reverse" or "take the inverse") her representation of her therapist: "If my co-workers matter to me offstage, then it is possible that I mattered to my therapist offstage."

Episodes 5: Questioning the Reality of Care from Professionals

The discursive structure of Episode 5 is indicated in Figure 8. Soon after (1) the client entertains the possibility that her previous therapist might have authentically cared about her, the client again begins to marginalize the feeling. Specifically, through her anxiety, the client (2) differentiates her sense of "feel[ing] good about feeling cared about by a therapist" and her sense that therapy is "such an artificial relationship." At this point (3), smiling while looking directly into the client's eyes, with deep compassion and care, the therapist said, "Do I seem artificial to you?" The following dialogue ensued:

C: No, but the relationship and the ... it's not like we're friends, I was paying her.

T: Yes, this is a professional relationship. But does that mean there aren't human feelings?

C: No.

T: People are paying you. I mean you're working for a salary, but you, just you know the feelings you have, there's human involvement there and ... and somehow when it comes toward you, you want to push it away ... I'm saying open wide (laugh), don't spit it out. Don't throw it off the plate ... It's hard isn't it?

C: It is ... it is hard, it's yeah ... It feels ... I-I-I could go to beating up on myself and making it wrong.

In this situation, in the context of the therapist's deeply expressed emotion, and through her expressions of positive emotion, anxiety, and embarrassment, the client acknowledges the authenticity of the therapist's feelings of care. The therapist's (4) expressed emotion conflicts with the client's sense that care expressed in the context of therapy is artificial. To resolve this contraction, the client (5) must begin the process of inverting (reversing) her emotionally-charged belief that care in therapy is artificial.

Episode 6: Accepting Care from the Therapist as Genuine

Figure 9 displays the discursive structure of Episode 6. This episode marks one of several pivotal points in the therapy session. Still questioning the artificiality of the therapeutic relationship, the client (1) says, "And you're telling me that this is real, and I'm saying, 'Well, it is real and I can really feel it.' Oh, but then it's also not really real and, in that it's bounded. You're not going to invite me for dinner, and I'm not going to invite you for dinner. You know." The therapist (2) responds with a seemingly simple statement, "That's right. Our experience will be here." The client responds with renewed positive emotion and says, "Yeah, right and that is very real, and I don't mean ... but it is also not out in the world. So my real thing will ... my next challenge will be to find whatever thing is here out in the world."

Figure 9 displays the subtly and discursive force of the therapist's statement. Through the simple statement, "Yes, our experience will be here," the therapist brings forward several previously conflicting meaning elements into a single, integrated representation that resolves their contradictions for the client. In speaking of "our experience," the therapist brings forward the previous reference to shared feelings of care between the client and the therapist. In locating that experience in the here-and-now of the therapy room, the therapist suggests a differentiation between the realty of feelings of care and the space within which such feelings would be experienced. In so doing, the therapist differentiated three undifferentiated statements put forth by the client. Specifically, the therapist affirmed the client's statement that the therapeutic relationship was bounded (i.e., "our experience will be here"). However, in affirming the reality of the dyad's experience (i.e., "our experience will be here"), the therapist rejected the idea that the feelings of care were not real. Finally, by identifying their shared experience as occurring within therapy (i.e., "our experience will be here"), the therapist differentiated between therapeutic relationships and other types of relationships. The client (4) was able to appropriate the distinction between the reality of care and the location of care, and integrate them into a meaning structure that resolved the apparent conflict between them: "Yeah, right and that is very real, and I don't mean ... but it is also not out in the world."

The Coactive Construction of Meaning Both within and between Client and Therapist

The client's hard-won capacity to experience herself as genuinely mattering to her therapist functioned as a central emotional achievement in the session. This jointly-constructed meaning provided the emotional foundation that set up the client's capacity to represent her therapist as a "harbor light" who shines a beacon of care upon the client whether she is "on shore" with the therapist or "off shore" navigating through stormy seas without the therapist (see Figure 5). However, what is most important in the analyses described above is the subtle nature of the co-constructive processes that mediated the developmental changes observed in the client. Even a casual examination of the discursive maps describe above reveals the futility of attempting to separate the client and the therapist as independent causal forces in accounting for the client's development. To be sure, the client and the therapist exist as distinct individuals. However, the developmental changes observed are the result of coactive processes that occur within and between the client and therapist as they adjust the pattern of their thoughts, feelings, and actions in relation to each other in moment to-moment exchanges.

COORDINATING DIVERGENT CONSTRUCTIONISMS

The concept of coactive systems is congenial to the task of elaborating an integrative constructionism. Traditionally, psychology has conceived its subject matter as a set of discrete processes. Psychologists have tended to study distinct aspects of human behavior as if they operate in isolation from one another. The chapters in introductory textbooks aptly reflect the resulting fragmentation that occurs when psychological processes are studied as distinct modules. When psychologists do work toward integration, one set of psychological processes is often identified as primary. Thus, we have cognitive theories (Lazarus, 1991), motivational theories (Fiske, 2004), neurobiological (DeYoung, 2010) theories and so forth. In contrast to such traditional approaches, the concept of coactive system maintains that no single system (or set of systems viewed in isolation) is primary in the production of human behavior; instead, human action and experience are emergent products of coactions among systems that operate within and between individuals. We do not behave as isolated modules; instead, we operate as integrated systems of action and experience that function within the medium of the body and which are embedded in still larger social and cultural systems. The coactive systems approach described here builds upon these basic principles and works toward the goal of building an integrative constructivist psychology that elaborates a set of conceptual and empirical tools for studying the coactive production of action and experience.

Although the differences among alternative versions of constructionism can be subtle, they reflect meaningful differences in conceptions of the origins and significance of meaning construction. These include differences in the relation between meaning and "reality;" the importance of individual, social, and cultural-historical processes; the primacy of language versus thought; the role of the body and world in grounding meaning; the role of the internal/private versus the external/public, and so forth. Many have suggested the need to move beyond the various "isms" that divide constructivist thought. This is an important goal. However, in working to move beyond distinctions, we must be careful to avoid the temptation to gloss over important theoretical distinctions or simply mix divergent claims into an eclectic theoretical soup. An integrative constructivist psychology must synthesize divergent theoretical approaches in ways that resolve the contradictions between them. If advocates of different versions of constructionism cannot recognize their own positions in any given synthesis, then either the synthesis is inadequate or the failed synthesis indicates a need to sharpen the distinctions among conflicting viewpoints. However, if sharpening differences is to be constructive, we need continued rigorous dialogue. Intellectual isolation is the enemy of scientific progress.

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(1) Similar patterns of mutual regulation occur, on the one hand, between affect and action, and on the other, between affect and action (see Mascolo, Fischer & Li, 2003).

(2) To preserve space, although it is discussed in the text, we have omitted reference to the reflex tier from Figure 3.

(3) In light of the centrality of affect in the social organization of infant action, these early psychological structures might be better understood as sensori-motor-affective rather than simply sensori-motor.
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