Congnition & Emotions

Congnition & Emotions is the TET Notes to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse throughout different TET syllabus wise notes for Congnition & Emotions.

Congnition & Emotions

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Also, you can read the Assam TET online notes in these sections as per Assam TET Syllabus guidelines. These notes are part of Assam TET All Subject. Here we have given Assam TET Concept of Congnition & Emotions for All notes, You can practice these here.

Congnition & Emotions




What is Cognition?

Cognition is the ability to perceive, memorise, reason and understand, These abilities change with age. As the child grows, her thinking becomes more mature and efficient, Therefore, cognition can simply be defined as the process of acquiring, processing, organising and using knowledge. The development of cognition means development of all these abilities. A child’s thinking changes as result of both age (maturation) and increased experiences.

Major Cognitive Characteristics of Children Infancy

It is interesting to see the number of changes that take place in the first two years. Children at this stage are very active learners. Even when it seems the child is only lying and looking at nothing (c.g. 2 month old) she is actually looking at and trying to understand the things around her.

The first two years children begin by exploring their own bodies and move to the outside objects. Children at 2/3 months discover their thumb or hand or occasionally their own foot. They fascinate them and they try to play with them. For a two month old a toy is not as satisfying as her/his own thumb in her/his mouth. Gradually, by about six months, children begin to play with objects outside the body. This could be the toy, the sheet, the bottle, etc. Later, by two years they can even indulge in pretend play (example doctor-doctor, house-house, etc.).

What children also achieve by two years is the understanding of object permanence. Object permanence is the understanding that things exist even if you can not see them. Let us take an example. If you show a five month old a toy she gets excited. If you hide the toy the child soon forgets that any toy even existed. This is because she thinks out of sight and out of mind. Do the same thing with a 115 year old and you will find the child is either looking for it or asks you to find it. This is because she knows the toy exists even if she can not see it. This understanding, that things exist even if you can not see them. is called object permanence.

The other major development that happens by two years is that children begin to leam the symbols. What are symbols? A two year old can convey her thoughts and desires through language. All these are essential processes of cognition

Early Childhood

This is a period when the child’s mastery in use of symbols increases. We can observe this in the everyday behaviour and activities of the child, in what she plays, her language etc. Gradually her representations of objects become more flexible and less self centred. A one year old while playing does not need a toy phone to pretend to speak on the phone. She can use any object. This is indicative of flexibility in thinking. Gradually, children also start directing play between dolls, and, one doll is the mother and the other doll the child. This is indicative of the child moving away from self to becoming less self centred.

Children at this stage also believe that all objects have feelings like human beings. That is why you will often see the child feeding her teddy bear.

Children at this stage can also focus on only one aspect of a situation and can not go back. Let us now take an example. You offer cola to a 4 yr old in a tall glass. You then change your mind and pour the coke from the tall glass to a short glass and give it to the child. You will find the child will say I want the big glass. This is because she can only focus on one aspect (height) at time. Also, she is not able to go back mentally and realise that in the process of pouring from big to small glass, no cola was taken away

Similarly, take two plates and put in one 6 pieces of chocolate spread out and in the other make a tower of 6 pieces of chocolate. You will find the child thinking the spread out chocolate more. This is because the child can only focus on one aspect at a time. This limitation seriously restricts the problem solving and logical thinking abilities of the child.

It also indicates the child’s inability to understand that another point of view different from her own can exist, eg. you often find children responding to your question by nodding their heads, even if they are not in the same room as you. This is because they do not see another’s point of view.

Middle Childhood

During this period, children begin to understand that another viewpoint can exist. They are also able to focus on more than one aspect of a situation and go back and forth on their thinking. This makes their thinking more logical and efficient. However, children are only comfortable with concrete ideas/objects. It means, something that is real for them, i.e., either something they have seen, e.g., a house or something is in front of them, a plant or something linked to what they know, egg, blue like the sky. They are not able to think about abstract ideas, e.g., what would happen if everyone could fly?


Emotions, put simply, are feelings. In infants we can see these very clearly in the form of joy, anger and fear. These are similar to the emotions that adults have. 

  1. The variety of emotions increases with age: The basic emotions of joy, fear, anger are visible in infants. Gradually, as a sense of self develops, children begin to relate with people around them and value their opinions. Then we can see emotions like pride, shame, sympathy, and guilt also developing in them.
  2. The expression of emotion also changes with age: Emotions are both innate and learnt. The instinctive response to a stimulus is innate but how to express that feeling is learnt, e.g. taking away a toy makes the child angry (innate) but instead crying she is encouraged to ask for it back (learnt). Frustration tolerance increases with age. As children grow older. their responses change in both as well as instinctive method of expression, e.g., when a 2 year old falls down she cries loudly and later forgets quickly. A 6 year old on the other hand, may not cry but forgets far less easily.
  3. The triggers or cause of emotions change with age: The stimuli that elicit emotion also change with age, e.g., an infant may cry on hearing the loud explosion of a cracker but a middle childhood child may laugh. Sucking a thumb may give great joy to an infant but provides no pleasure to a child is middle childhood.
  4. The coping techniques change with age Methods of coping with frustration and stress change with age. While a younger child may cry, or cling to the adult, an older child is likely to suppress the emotion.

Factors Affecting Emotional Development

If we look round in our environment, we will find that people differ in the emotions they experience and express. Some are happy, some are angry, some moody, some helpful. What then affects our emotional development?

  1. Parenting style: Democratic parenting where induction is used as a method of disciplining allows for more mature emotional development and also for development of personal behaviour.
  2. Role model: There are two factors which influence what a child ultimately learns:

(i) How adults and others in the child’s environment handle their emotions.

(ii) How successful is the emotional expression in achieving their needs.

  1. Violence in the child’s environment: The kind of behaviour the child sees in the community (e.g. during riots) or on TV will affect her expressions of emotions.
  2. Cultural norms: Emotional expressions are learnt from the environment. It is the environment that tells us how to react in a situation (e.g. some people feel the emotion of fear when a black cat crosses their path). It is also the environment that tells us the acceptable way of expressing ones emotions (e.g. in many families it is unacceptable for boys to express their distress by crying). Therefore, our cultural beliefs and values also influence our emotional development

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