Emotion has been defined differently as ‘a stage of agitation’, ‘disturbance of equilibrium’, ‘intense random and disorganized response to a stimulus’. In modern life, emotions demand greater understanding because of their pervasive effects on behaviour, personality and health.
Characteristics of Emotional Development
At the childhood stage, children experience feelings of love, hatred and fear which last for long. There is the formation of sentiments and complexes. They develop a sense of autonomy, combat, doubt and shame. In other words, they accept themselves if they succeed in their own eyes and develop a sense of inferiority, if they fail.
By the time the children enter the stage of adolescence, there are some noticeable changes in their emotional behaviour. The adolescents often struggle with a sense of identity and question about themselves. The common observable behavioural patterns at this stage are moodiness, anger, depression, anxiety and state of dilemma. Their trust therefore shifts to friends and the opinions of others seem to be important. Moreover, ‘crushes’ on movie stars, models, pop artists, etc. can easily be found and therefore, they are found to be sexually attracted to people.
If the emotional development of a child moves towards equilibrium, then it leads to another stage of development: Cognitive development, which we will discuss in the next section.