Affect, in psychology, refers to the underlying experience of feeling, emotion, attachment, or mood. In psychology, "affect" refers to the experience of feeling or emotion. It encompasses a wide range of emotional states and can be positive (e.g., happiness, joy, excitement) or negative (e.g., sadness, anger, fear, disgust). Affect is a fundamental aspect of human experience and plays a central role in many psychological theories and studies. It can be understood as a combination of three components: emotion, mood (enduring, less intense emotional states that are not necessarily tied to a specific event), and affectivity (an individual's overall disposition or temperament, which can be characterized as having a generally positive or negative affect). In psychology, the term "affect" is often used interchangeably with several related terms and concepts, though each term may have slightly different nuances. These terms encompass: emotion, feeling, mood, emotional state, sentiment, affective state, emotional response, affective reactivity, disposition. Researchers and psychologists may employ specific terms based on their focus and the context of their work.

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