This paper discusses the current practice of using single word labels for emotional states that ignore the nature of the incentive, cognitive representations, physiologic profile, and especially the developmental stage of the agent. The universal cognitive advances that are derivatives of brain maturation over the first dozen years are accompanied by significant emotional states that infants and young children cannot experience. The cognitive transitions at the end of the first year, the middle of the second year, 5–7 years and early adolescence have special implications for affect states.
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Accepted: February 2, 2001
Received in revised form: January 29, 2001
Received: December 5, 2000
© 2001 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.