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Affect

Affect, simply defined, is used interchangeably with the words feeling, emotion, and mood. Differentiation among these terms has always been a source of challenge and confusion in psychology, not only theoretically but also practically. Likely, one reason for this confusion is that these terms convey the characteristic of valence as a highly subjective feature. Valence means evaluation, varying from negative to positive, and is defined as a measure of how pleasant or unpleasant a stimulus is. Ostensibly, to better understand the term affect, it is necessary to have a definition for each of these terms. This entry seeks to clarify the use of terms associated with the word affect.

Affect is a broad term that typically replaces the other terms in valence-related literature. This replacement, however, ...

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