Phew! Well that’s a relief for you – understanding relief in others.

  • Matthew Johnston (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Relief has received insufficient scientific inquiry despite being evidenced as a frequently experienced and highly prototypical emotion. Developmental psychology has focused only on the type of relief that is felt when comparing reality to a worse counterfactual world. Relief is also experienced, however, when an unpleasant experience is over and in the past. A recent philosophical analysis has proposed that these two types of relief hold distinct cognitive prerequisites and behavioural functions. In this talk, I will describe an experimental design that attempts to tease apart two developmental trajectories of relief. In particular, the task is designed to observe when children can first accurately attribute two types of relief to others through vignettes. If a developmental lag is observed in the ability to understand these two types of relief in others, this will provide the first empirical evidence that these two forms of relief dissociate developmentally and require different levels of cognition. This will also provide the first positive evidence in the literature as to when children can first start to understand relief of either type in others.
Period23 May 2019
Held atSchool of Psychology
Degree of RecognitionLocal