Author: Jules R. Bemporad M.D.
Without the ability to cognitively appreciate certain aspects of experience, specific affects can not be experienced. Therefore a consideration of cognitive development must go hand in hand with any attempt to understand the development of affect. This does not necessarily mean that the processes of understanding that give rise to emotions must be conscious, any more than Piaget’s cognitive schemata are explicitly conscious. Rather, these schemata are unconscious principles that organize experience and give the experience its meaning and thus its emotional content.