Send to

Choose Destination
Child Dev. 2000 Jul-Aug;71(4):895-912.

Young children's understanding of perception, desire, and emotion.

Author information

Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0406, USA.


Very young children seem to know that people experience several mental states: desires, perceptions, emotions. In three studies, we investigated 2- and young 3-year-olds' judgments and communications about how these states connect together in people's lives and minds. Two experimental studies with 56 participants demonstrated young children's understanding of at least one set of connections: In appropriate circumstances, a person's perception of desirable or undesirable objects leads to related emotional experiences. A complementary investigation of four young children's everyday conversations demonstrated their awareness of and expression of several additional connections between people's desires, perceptions, and emotions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center