Definitions of Affectivity


From the Latin affectus, affection is one of the passions of the mind. It is the inclination towards someone or something, especially love or affection. For example: “Ricardo’s attitude was a true demonstration of affection”, “All children should be treated with affection”, “Affection is essential in human relationships, but does not prevent friction and conflict from occurring”.

It is common for the notion of affection to be used more formally or distantly than the concept of love. It is not the same to feel affection for someone than to love him. On the other hand, it is not frequent to say that you love an object, while having affection for one thing is more common: “I am not going to give away any toy from my childhood since I have a lot of affection for everyone”, “I know that I should tell him what I think, but I don’t want to hurt him since I feel affection for him. ”

For psychology, affectivity is the susceptibility of the human being to different alterations in the real or symbolic world. It is usually produced through an interactive process (who feels affection receives something from the other party): “Lautaro felt great affection upon hearing the news. ”

Some of the fundamental points of affectivity are the following: the preponderance of the family and of loving relationships; the functions of consciousness are inhibited; Well-defined goals are set towards which love, tendencies and sex are directed; there is an oscillation between what pleases or displeases and what is hated, which represent two poles of the sexual type.

According to Antonio Damásio, a renowned neurologist from Portugal, emotions and all the reactions that follow from them have a connection with the body, but feelings are linked to the mind. Despite the fact that no one has established a series of formal differences between affect and emotions, there are authors who define the former as a process of interaction between a minimum of two people, but consider that the latter occur in the privacy of each individual.

On the other hand, there is the position of Benedict de Spinoza, a 17th century Dutch philosopher, opposed to the previous one regarding the links between affection, emotions, body and mind. According to his studies, there were various affects, which we can see below:

* desire: when a person is determined to perform an action moved by a condition that comes from his own essence;

* joy: it occurs when transcending from one degree of perfection to another;

* sadness: the reverse phenomenon of joy;

* admiration: it takes place when the soul is perplexed before an image, since it cannot connect it with others;

* contempt: given the insignificant impact produced in the soul by a thing, the first tries to look for everything that the latter does not find, instead of paying attention to what it does notice in it;

* love: it is the combination of a joy with a fact of origin external to oneself;

* hatred: similar to love, a sadness is conjugated with an external cause;

* the propensity: occurs when the idea of ​​an object that accidentally causes joy, accompanies a joy;

* adversity: it is like propensity, but instead of joy it is centered on sadness;

On the other hand, it is said that a person is affected by something when he is destined to provide his services or perform functions in a certain dependency: “The players affected at the concentration could not walk around the city”, “The affected residents decided to take their protest to the courts”.