Emotional Cognitive Scale (ECS)


Author of Tool: 

Wintre, M. G., & Vallance, D. D. A.

Key references: 

Wintre, M. G., & Vallance, D. D. A. (1993). A Developmental Sequence in the Comprehension of Emotions: Multiple Emotions, Intensity, and Valence. Developmental Psychology, 30(4), 509-5. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.30.4.509

Wang, Qi. (2003). Emotion situation knowledge in American and Chinese preschool children and adults, Cognition & Emotion, 17(5), 725-746.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Emotional Cognitive Scale (ECS) was developed to measure the intensity and valency of five different emotions over 15 different scenarios in children of a young age. The scale itself is a 5-point inventory in the form of a concrete, visual apparatus; this is in order to limit the cognitive and verbal load on the children.


Piagetian and neo-Piagetian developmental psychologists believe that childhood is marked by a series of punctuated cognitive developments. This view requires that children of increasingly older age should be ever more capable of managing cognitively demanding tasks. Furthermore, this view requires that some degree of consistency exists in terms of the age at which specific cognitive abilities are developed. The Emotional Cognitive Scale (ECS) was developed to measure childrens grasp of their own emotions by asking them how they think they would feel in a number of given situations. Importantly, the scale allows for five different simultaneous emotional responses, each of which can vary in emotion and valance. In accord with Piagetian principles, the (ECS) has been shown to facilitate responses of increasing nuance as children develop and attain greater understading of their emotions.


The psychometric properties of the Emotional Cognitive Scale (ECS) are discussed in Wintre & Vallance (1993).



Microsoft Office document iconThe Emotional Cognitive Scale (ECS)PDF iconemotion20cognition20apparatus-1.pdf

Other Information: 

A photograph of the apparatus developed for this scale is provided in the link above.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 



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