Standard Article

Emotional Development

  1. E. Mark Cummings,
  2. Melissa R.W. George,
  3. Chrystyna D. Kouros

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0302

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Cummings, E. M., George, M. R. and Kouros, C. D. 2010. Emotional Development. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Notre Dame

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Emotions are a universal and to some extent innate psychological process. Although certain emotions are present at birth, emotions develop and become differentiated throughout the early years of life. Emotional feelings, expression of emotion, and emotional understanding all importantly develop in the first years of life. Emotional development is based on a variety of influences, including cognitive abilities, social interactions, and cultural influences. Although virtually everyone comes to express and experiences a range of emotions, events that elicit emotions and the expression of emotions may differ widely across individuals.