Affect

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af·fect1 / əˈfekt/ • v. [tr.] have an effect on; make a difference to: the dampness began to affect my health. ∎  touch the feelings of (someone); move emotionally: [as adj.] (affecting) a highly affecting account of her experiences. ∎  (of an illness) attack or infect: people who are affected by AIDS. DERIVATIVES: af·fect·ing·ly adv. af·fect2 / əˈfekt/ • v. [tr.] pretend to have or feel (something): as usual I affected a supreme unconcern. ∎  use, wear, or assume (something) pretentiously or so as to make an impression on others: an American who had affected a British accent. af·fect3 / ˈafekt; əˈfekt/ • n. Psychol. emotion or desire, esp. as influencing behavior or action. DERIVATIVES: af·fect·less adj. af·fect·less·ness n.

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Affect

Definition

Description

Definition

Affect is a psychological term for an observable expression of emotion.

Description

A person’s affect is the expression of emotion or feelings displayed to others through facial expressions, hand gestures, voice tone, and other emotional signs such as laughter or tears. Individual affect fluctuates according to emotional state. What is considered a normal range of affect, called the broad affect, varies from culture to culture, and even within a culture. Certain individuals may gesture prolifically while talking, and display dramatic facial expressions in reaction to social situations or other stimuli. Others may show little outward response to social environments or interactions, expressing a narrow range of emotions to the outside world.

People with psychological disorders may display variations in their affect. A restricted or constricted affect describes a mild restriction in the range or intensity of display of feelings. As the reduction in display of emotion becomes more severe, the term blunted affect may be applied. The absence of any exhibition of emotions is described as flat affect where the voice is monotone, the face expressionless, and the body immobile. Labile affect describes emotional instability or dramatic mood swings. When the outward display of emotion is out of context for the situation, such as laughter while describing pain or sadness, the affect is termed “inappropriate.”

See alsoBorderline personality disorder; Depression and depressive disorders; Major depressive disorder; Schizophrenia.

views updated

Affect

A psychological term for an observable expression of emotion.

A person's affect is the expression of emotion or feelings displayed to others through facial expressions, hand gestures, voice tone, and other emotional signs such as laughter or tears. Individual affect fluctuates according to emotional state. What is considered a normal range of affect, called the broad effect, varies from culture to culture, and even within a culture. Certain individuals may gesture prolifically while talking, and display dramatic facial expressions in reaction to social situations or other stimuli. Others may show little outward response to social environments, expressing a narrow range of emotions to the outside world.

Persons with psychological disorders may display variations in their affect. A restricted or constricted affect describes a mild restriction in the range or intensity of display of feelings. As the reduction in display of emotion becomes more severe, the term blunted affect may be applied. The absence of any exhibition of emotions is described as flat affect where the voice is monotone, the face expressionless, and the body immobile. Labile affect describes emotional instability or dramatic mood swings. When the outward display of emotion is out of context for the situation, such as laughter while describing pain or sadness, the affect is termed inappropriate.

See also Mood

Further Reading

Moore, Bert S. and Alice M. Isen, eds. Affect and Social Behavior. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Thayer, S. The Origin of Everyday Moods. New York Oxford University Press, 1995.

views updated

Affect

Definition

Affect is a psychological term for an observable expression of emotion.

Description

A person's affect is the expression of emotion or feelings displayed to others through facial expressions, hand gestures, voice tone, and other emotional signs such as laughter or tears. Individual affect fluctuates according to emotional state. What is considered a normal range of affect, called the broad affect, varies from culture to culture, and even within a culture. Certain individuals may gesture prolifically while talking, and display dramatic facial expressions in reaction to social situations or other stimuli. Others may show little outward response to social environments or interactions, expressing a narrow range of emotions to the outside world.

People with psychological disorders may display variations in their affect. A restricted or constricted affect describes a mild restriction in the range or intensity of display of feelings. As the reduction in display of emotion becomes more severe, the term blunted affect may be applied. The absence of any exhibition of emotions is described as flat affect where the voice is monotone, the face expressionless, and the body immobile. Labile affect describes emotional instability or dramatic mood swings. When the outward display of emotion is out of context for the situation, such as laughter while describing pain or sadness, the affect is termed "inappropriate."

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affectabreact, abstract, act, attract, bract, compact, contract, counteract, diffract, enact, exact, extract, fact, humpbacked, hunchbacked, impact, interact, matter-of-fact, pact, protract, redact, refract, retroact, subcontract, subtract, tact, tract, transact, unbacked, underact, untracked •play-act • autodidact •artefact (US artifact) • cataract •contact •marked, unremarked •Wehrmacht •affect, bisect, bull-necked, collect, confect, connect, correct, defect, deflect, deject, detect, direct, effect, eject, elect, erect, expect, infect, inflect, inject, inspect, interconnect, interject, intersect, misdirect, neglect, object, perfect, project, prospect, protect, reflect, reject, respect, resurrect, sect, select, subject, suspect, transect, unchecked, Utrecht •prefect • abject • retroject • intellect •genuflect • idiolect • dialect • aspect •circumspect • retrospect • Dordrecht •vivisect • architect • unbaked •sun-baked

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affect, affective, affectivity An affect is an emotion. In sociology the use of the term generally implies that an action is being or has been carried out for emotional gratification. For example, in their discussion of Class Awareness in the United States (1983), Mary R. Jackman and Robert W. Jackman discuss ‘affective class bonds’; namely, ‘the issue of whether subjective social class encompasses a feeling of emotional attachment’, rather than being merely a matter of nominal identification. ‘Affectivity versus affective neutrality’ is one of Talcott Parsons's so-called pattern variables, according to which different societies can be classified and analysed. See also AFFECTIVE INDIVIDUALISM.

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affect (af-ekt) n. (in psychiatry)

1. the predominant emotion in a person's mental state at a particular moment.

2. the emotion associated with a particular idea. blunted a. diminished intensity of emotional response, which is a feature of some forms of schizophrenia and depression.
affective (ă-fek-tiv) adj.

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affect1 †aspire to XV; †have a liking for XVI; display or assume openly; assume or pretend falsely XVII. — F. affecter or L. affectāre, f. affect-, pp. stem of afficere put to, (refl.) apply oneself to; see next.
So affectation XVI.

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affect2 attack, influence, move. XVII. — F. affecter or f. L. affect-, pp. stem of afficere act upon, influence, f. AD- + facere do.