This study was based upon the responses of 116 Taiwanese primary school children aged nine-ten years to a questionnaire concerning their emotional and motivational responses to mathematical problems. A cluster analysis revealed four distinct patterns of response, which were differentially related to attainment. These patterns of emotional response were subsequently investigated further with a smaller sample of children using a repertory grid technique and an associated interview. The four patterns were found to have differential characteristics and development processes in terms of emotional variables and preferred problem types. Emotion is an indispensable part of cognitive activities, such as mathematical problem-solving. Burton (1994) indicates that children as mathematicians often strive for progression and newness to enhance capacity, but also experience anxiety when confronted with the need to integrate new ideas with existing patterns of understanding. Mason, Burton and Stacey (1996) point out key moments in the problem-solving process, in which distinct emotional issues are likely to be raised, such as relief, excitement and confidence.