6 January 2015

Cognition and Emotion

CTET 2015 Exam Notes : Child Development and Pedagogy (CDP) 


The term cognition is used in several loosely related ways to refer to a faculty for the human-like processing of information, applying knowledge and changing preferences. Cognition or cognitive processes can be natural and artificial, conscious and not conscious; therefore, they are analyzed from different perspectives and in different contexts, in anesthesia, neurology, psychology, philosophy, systemics and computer science.

The concept of cognition is closely related to such abstract concepts as mind, reasoning, perception, intelligence, learning, and many others that describe numerous capabilities of human mind and expected properties of artificial or synthetic intelligence.

Cognition is an abstract property of advanced living organisms; therefore, it is studied as a direct property of a brain or of an abstract mind on subsymbolic and symbolic levels.

In psychology and in artificial intelligence, it is used to refer to the mental functions, mental processes and states of intelligent entities (humans, human organizations, highly autonomous robots), with a particular focus toward the study of such mental processes as comprehension, inferencing, decision-making, planning and learning (see also cognitive science and cognitivism).

Recently, advanced cognitive researchers have been especially focused on the capacities of abstraction, generalization, concretization/specialization and meta-reasoning which descriptions involve such concepts as beliefs, knowledge, desires, preferences and intentions of intelligent individuals/objects/agents/systems.

Cognition and Emotion, DIMENSIONS AND DEVELOPMENT OF EMOTIONS, CDP Notes, CTET 2015 Exam Notes, Child Development & Pedagogy Study MaterialThe term "cognition" is also used in a wider sense to mean the act of knowing or knowledge, and may be interpreted in a social or cultural sense to describe the emergent development of knowledge and concepts within a group that culminate in both thought and action.


The term 'emotion' is derived from the Latin word ‘emovere’ which means to stirup, agitate, excite or move. Emotions are generally referred to as a stirred up condition involving subjective experience and affective reactions. They may be pleasant or unpleasant. Pleasant emotions are the sources of joy whereas unpleasant emotions are related to disturbing mental states like aggression, fear, anxiety etc.
Each emotion has three basic aspects.

(i)                      Cognitive aspect: It involves thoughts, beliefs and expectations that are involved when we experience emotions. For example – your friend may find a novel rich in descriptions of people and places whereas you may find it unrealistic.

(ii)                   Physiological aspect: It involves physiological activation. When you experience emotions such as fear or anger, you experience an increase in pulse rate, blood pressure and respiration. You may also perspire.

(iii)                Behavioural aspect: It includes various forms of emotional expressions. If you observe your father or mother during anger and happiness you will notice that facial expressions, bodily postures and tone of voice vary with anger, joy and other emotions.


Recent studies across different cultures have shown that emotions can be placed along two dimensions i.e., Arousal and Valence. Thus one can have high or low degree of arousal and positive or negative (e.g. pleasant vs. unpleasant) emotional experience.
Although the general ability to respond emotionally is present at birth, emotional development is due to maturation and learning. Infants show emotional responses like crying, smiling etc. With the growth of imagination and understanding a child is able to differentiate family members from strangers and the fear of strangers develops.

Children learn to express their emotions by imitating their parents, siblings and other family members. For example the expressions of anger and happiness are frequently observed in social interactions and a child starts expressing them. The role of learning in emotional development becomes clear if we notice emotional expressions peculiar to some cultures. For example in Indian culture, fathers don’t show their affection openly to children because its not welcomed in society whereas there are no such inhibitions in Western culture. Learning is responsible for conditioning of fear of darkness, lightening, certain animals or objects.

Certain Important Features of Emotions

(i)                   You will experience an emotion when any of your basic needs are not satisfied or challenged.You also experience positive emotion on satisfaction of a need.
(ii)                Under the influence of an emotion you experience physiological changes such as facial expressions, gestures, change in the rhythm of the heartbeat, blood pressure, and breathing pattern.
(iii)             Your thinking, reasoning, memory and other psychological functions are affected by emotions.
(iii)             During an emotional state tremendous amount of energy is released which helps facing critical situations. For example if a dog runs after you, you run at a much higher speed than the normal speed.
(iv)            Both maturation and learning play an important role in development and expression of emotions.
(v)               When you have pleasant emotional experiences you will be in a happy, good or positive mood. In contrast, unpleasant emotional experiences would lead to sad or negative moods.
(vi)            The experience of emotion can first increase your performance to some extent
but if heightened and prolonged it will decrease the level of performance.
Note: Did you liked the post? Please tell us by your comment below..!!