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Psychol the emotion associated with an idea or set of ideas
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Conscious awareness of feelings; mood.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Part of the problem is one of courage, or lack thereof: In telling of the doomed romance between the once-traumatized, now-unfeeling Pinkie (played by Macaulay Culkin look-alike Michael Jibson, who's oddly blank in the part) and his anxiously doe-eyed Rose (Sophia Ragavelas), "Brighton Rock" chronicles the descent into affectlessness of a teenager wedded--in Greene's decidedly Catholic view of things--primarily to Hell: "Me, I don't feel nothin'," he announces.
Where Jean Santeuil wears his self-pity, his self-adoration, his vengefulness, on his sleeve, the narrator-protagonist of The Guermantes Way, only fleetingly visible, in the high beam of a certain unloving gaze, as "a hysterical little flatterer," owes his worldly success to his mastery of the art of playing it cool.(11) What disguise, however, more classically betrays the adolescent ardor of those who put it on than does this affectation of affectlessness? The very deadpan ease with which the narrator moves through the Guermantes salon signifies that, in Bardeche's words, "Nous sommes en pleine fantaisie."(12) Nor can Proust (as opposed to "Marcel") be disimplicated from this fantasy.
Does she select her imagery for its hackneyed affectlessness, thus diverting our attention to purely formal issues?
It's easy to admire the intricate detail in Swoosie Kurtz's performance as the distraught mother who gradually comes to forgive her daughter's killer, or the chilling affectlessness of Brian F.
This isn't the first time Lawler's camera has homed in on Hirst's most aggressively marketable art-works, and though the affectlessness of her photographs suggests a scrupulous avoidance of value judgments--in these pictures, ostensibly, a Mondrian drawing equals a Man Ray portrait equals one of Yoshitomo Nara's lamentable little pod people--it's difficult to avoid reading a certain wry ruefulness into the images.
Even so, the affectlessness has a certain power, in that it represents the dramatic equivalent of an automotive low idle suddenly overtaken by the delirious rush of threading through traffic on L.A.