Standard Article

Affective Development

  1. Donald Wertlieb,
  2. Myrna V. Vashchenko,
  3. Dante Spetter

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0024

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Wertlieb, D., Vashchenko, M. V. and Spetter, D. 2010. Affective Development. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Tufts University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Affect, as a feature or type of behavior, and hence a focus of psychology, is one of the least understood and most challenging problems in the field. “Affect” relates to and/or encompasses a wide range of concepts and phenomena including feelings, emotions, moods, motivation, and certain drives and instincts. It is often used as a synonym of “emotion”; however, others have used it to describe external manifestations of emotion or mood. Anger, joy, fear, laughter, sadness, anxiety, pride, love, hate, and so on—are all so central to human experience, yet so little understood by psychology. Theorists and researchers have approached affect in numerous ways, often using idiosyncratic, contradictory, or mutually exclusive conceptualizations and operational definitions, thus resulting in confusion and limited progress in our understanding of affect or any of these other related or synonymous constructs.