• Emotion understanding;
  • Language;
  • Fluid intelligence;
  • Preschool children

This study investigated the role of verbal ability and fluid intelligence on children's emotion understanding, testing the hypothesis that fluid intelligence predicts the development of emotion comprehension over and above age and verbal ability. One hundred and two children (48 girls) aged 3.6–6 years completed the Test of Emotion Comprehension (TEC) that comprised external and mental components, the Coloured Progressive Matrices and the Test for Reception of Grammar. Regression analysis showed that fluid intelligence was not equally related to the external and mental components of the TEC (Pons & Harris, 2000). Specifically, the results indicated that the external component was related to age and verbal ability only, whereas recognition of mental emotional patterns required abstract reasoning skills more than age and verbal ability. It is concluded that the development of fluid intelligence has a significant role in the development of mental component of emotion comprehension.