affect

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Related to Blunted affect: Flat affect

affect

Psychol the emotion associated with an idea or set of ideas

Affect

 

an emotional state that is characterized by a turbulent and relatively short course (rage, anger, horror, and so forth). The manifestation of affect is linked with sharply expressed changes both in the autonomous motor sphere (inhibition or overexcitation and disorder in the coordination of movement) and in the sphere of vegetative reactions (change of pulse and breathing, spasms of the peripheral blood vessels, the appearance of so-called cold sweat, and so forth). Affect can disturb the normal course of the higher psychic processes of perception and thinking and can cause a decrease in consciousness or its loss. Under certain conditions, negative affect can be fixated in the memory in the form of so-called affective complexes. These traces of past affective states can become reactivated in the present under the influence of irritants associated with the situation that caused the affect. Another important peculiarity of affect is that with the repetition of a negative affect which is caused by the same factor or analogous factors, its manifestation can be reinforced (the phenomenon of “accumulation” of affect), sometimes creating the impression of pathological conduct. The presence of strong affective states in a person at the time when he commits an action is regarded by the law as a circumstance that decreases the degree of his responsibility for these actions.

A. N. LEONT’EV

affect

[′af‚ekt]
(psychology)
Conscious awareness of feelings; mood.
References in periodicals archive ?
Aphasia and amnesia have been described in nearly all patients, and most will exhibit one or more of the following: blunted affect, apathy, prosopagnosia or "psychic blindness" (the inability to distinguish among friends, relatives, and strangers), hypermetamorphosis manifested by consistent exploration of the environment and placement of objects into the mouth, bulimia, hyperactive oral behavior, and altered sexual behavior such as frequent sexual overtures and attempts at physical contact.
Schizophrenia impairs patients' cognitive functions causing positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, and negative symptoms such as blunted affect and social withdrawal.
For blunted affect, some anchor definitions refer to inappropriate affect.