Affect and Mood. Definition. The external and dynamic manifestations of a person's internal emotional state
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Affect can mean a instinctual reaction to stimulation occurring before the typical cognitive processes considered necessary for the formation of a more complex emotion.
Many theorist suggest that affect is a post-cognitive process.
affective reactions as liking, disliking, evaluation, or the experience of pleasure or displeasure each result from a different prior cognitive process that makes a variety of content discriminations and identifies features, examines them to find value, and weighs them according to their contributions
A narrow reinforcement model of emotion allows other perspectives about how affect influences emotional development.
Temperament, cognitive development,socialization patterns, and the idiosyncrasies of one's family or subculture might interact in non-linear ways. For example, the temperament of a highly reactive/low self-soothing infant may "disproportionately" affect the process of emotion regulation in the early months of life
Affect is described by labelling the apparent emotion conveyed by the person's nonverbal behavior (anxious, sad etc.), and also by using the parameters of appropriateness, intensity, range, reactivity and mobility.
Affect may be described as appropriate or inappropriate to the current situation, and as congruent or incongruent with their thought content.
The intensity of the affect may be described as normal, blunted affect, exaggerated, flat, heightened or overly dramatic. A flat or blunted affect is associated with schizophrenia, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder; heightened affect might suggest mania, and an overly dramatic or exaggerated affect might suggest certain personality disorders.