Emotional learning begins at a very tender age, as children experience and learn a wide range of emotions, and evolves as they grow. It is a complex process that begins in infancy and continues into adulthood. The way children understand and interpret their feelings and emotions, as well as that of others, has a major impact on their behavior, choices, and how well they cope up with life.
Cognition refers to “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. It encompasses many aspects of intellectual functions and processes such as attention, the formation of knowledge, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and “computation”, problem-solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language. Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge. (Wikipedia)
In other words, the accumulation of information that we have acquired through learning or experience.
Cognition is referred to as the “Intellectual pattern” while emotions are referred to as the “psychological pattern”. Although the study of cognitive development has traditionally been separate from the study of emotional development, the intersection of these two major life developments is clear: cognitive development impacts emotional development, and they are intricately related to each other.
Attention is the cognitive process that allows us to concentrate on a stimulus or activity to process it more thoroughly later. It has been considered a mechanism that controls and regulates the rest of the cognitive processes.
Cognitive perception allows us to organize and understand the world through stimuli that we receive from our different senses, like sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
Perception affects emotions to a great extent, we may react involuntarily owing to our perception of a certain object. For eg: If a child is raised in a comfortable atmosphere, provided with care and affection, he/she may perceive the world to be a safe place. Whereas, a child raised in a rough situation may perceive the world differently reflecting emotions different from the former child.
It is the cognitive function that allows us to code, store, and recover information from the past. Memory is a basic process for learning, as it is what allows us to create a sense of identity. Memory also affects emotions, for eg: a child may fear a particular person if they have a bitter memory.
It allows us to integrate all of the information that we’ve received and to establish relationships between events and knowledge. To do this, it uses reasoning, synthesis, and problem-solving.
Language is the ability to express our thoughts and feelings through the spoken word. It is a tool that we use to communicate and organize and transmit information that we have about ourselves and the world. Children may find it difficult sometimes to analyze a person’s feelings through his facial expression. But after analyzing his words they may be able to comprehend the situation better. Thus, knowing what emotions to express what not to.
Learning is the cognitive process that we use to incorporate new information into our prior knowledge. It includes things as diverse as behaviors or habits. Habits like brushing our teeth or learning how to walk, and knowledge that we learn through socialization.
From an early stage, children are not simply passive observers. They observe everything happening around them and they develop their own theories. They analyze how the world of people, other living things, and objects operate.
When children begin to show considerably mastery of emotions, emotions become more elaborated cognitively; for example, children begin to become aware of which emotions are socially acceptable or not, “good” or “bad.” They understand in which situations emotions are appropriate to express and which ones to be avoided. They begin to acquire a more profound understanding of how emotions “work”, learning to express those emotions which are more desirable than what they are feeling. They learn to control their emotions owing to cultural and social rules and conventions.
Cognitive Development plays a crucial role in shaping the emotional competence of a child. They need to understand not just their own emotion, but also of others which they learn through cognitive development.