Both throughout history and in current philosophies, two modes of thought and self-regulation have been documented: one that is intuitive, subjective, and emotional, and one that is rational, objective, and logical. Several contemporary approaches to self-regulation have attempted to specify the relationship between these two available modes. In this paper, we propose a model that suggests a shift in the organization of the two modes as a function of developmental maturity. This model is applied to the development of a four-level assessment scheme for the understanding and control of four emotional states: anger, sadness, fear, and happiness. Preliminary analyses of a subsample of 28 males and females (11–67 years of age) show a developmental trend in these levels as a function of age. Ego development and verbal ability were also related to the level exhibited, making the specific determinants of these trends a subject for further analysis. The proposed model is discussed in light of these findings.

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