The Development of Emotion

"When my boy Bill grows up, he'll be a real man. Strong as an ox and just as sturdy! He'll never cry, no sir. He'll take his happy times strong hard laughter and his troubles with never a tear. He'll run his life like a tight ship, yessiree! He'll be calm and solid, slow to anger. But when he's riled no man on this earth will be able to stand the force of his blow. And if not, he'll answer to me!"

And it just might turn out that way. This new father obviously thinks he has a great deal of control over the emotional development of his son. Psychology, to a great extent, bears him out. The way we express our emotions certainly depends quite a bit on what we learn from our parents and from other people. But just how much control does this hopeful father have? Can he really teach his son how to feel? Perhaps his son was born with some emotions of his own. Then wouldn't his father's well-meaning lessons be needless or harmful? The material that follows might help us answer such questions..

As you read the text, try to answer the following questions..