Affect – definition
= general term for feelings and emotions. It describes an intense, relatively short-lasting feeling, in contrast to the long-lasting "mood". In the broadest sense, it can mean any emotional impulse (emotions).
Affect – structure
a) an expressive component with facial expressions and vocalisations
b) a physiological component of activation or deactivation of the vegetative nervous system and hormone release
c) a motivational component with activation in the skeletal muscles and posture
This classification is based on the description of the emotional reactions of healthy adults on the one hand, and the failures observable in the case of mental disorders on the other.
Affect – affect system
There is agreement about the emotional system being a kind of link between the environment and the various subsystems of the organism. Rainer Krause, psychologist and psychoanalyst, distinguishes the following terms in connection with affects:
Affect: unconscious physical reactions Feeling: affect + conscious perception and / or experience of the physical components Empathy: Affect + Feeling + Assignment to an object or to self in an internal image, together with linguistic naming and evaluation of the perception and the triggering situation All functions together are called "affect system".
Affect – primary effects
There are a limited number of affects that are said to occur in all cultures. This is relatively certain for the emotionally clearly distinguishable affects
These feelings are called „primary emotions“ or „it-emotions“. (Self-reflective „me-emotions“ and those that serve the internal control of thinking and acting are not covered.)
Disorders of either the entire affect system, individual components of one affect, or whole affects are considered to be the result of developmental disorders in early childhood and the cause of mental disorders. This includes:
psychoses, borderline disorders, severe narcissistic personality development, severe psychosomatic illnesses and disorders of sexual preferences. Most of these so-called „early disturbances“ are associated with a „derailment of the communication structure“ of the early parent-child relationship.