An affective orientation is the degree to which individuals are aware of and use affect cues to guide communication. Some people appear to be very sensitive to their emotional state, while others attend primarily to factual, logical information in making decisions. Four studies investigated how affective orientation relates to other communication constructs and behavior. Study One developed the measure, a 20-item scale with sound factor structure and internal reliability. Study Two assessed construct validity. Affective orientation (AO) was predictably related to conversational sensitivity and femininity. Divergent validity was supported in that AO was unrelated to communication apprehension, masculinity, self-monitoring, and need for cognition. Study Three determined that AO was related to communication production: As affective orientation increased, so too did the number of emotions participants were able to list in a timed trial. Study Four analyzed the ways high versus low affectively oriented communicators differ in their recall and communication of emotional events. High affective-oriented respondents exhibited shorter latencies prior to speaking and less pausing during the account.