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When used as an action or verb, affect means to change, and usually refers to an emotion or symptom. Affected, when used in a description, refers to fake or intentionally assumed behaviour (a changed behaviour), i.e., an affected accent. Affect can refer to facial expression or demeanor.
In general, to affect refers to the influence a change has on something else. In this sense, it is often confused with to effect, which generally means either "to cause/make/create a change" or to the result of a change. When used as a verb, "effect" refers to the cause of a change, or as a synonym for "created" or "made" ("The governor effected a change in policy"); while "affect" refers to the consequences of that change ("The new policy really affected our family").
As a noun, "affect" may refer to an emotion or to a psychological/psychiatric state (see below). As an adjective, it may refer to an assumed pretense: "Her affected accent really had an effect on me"; "Her affected accent really affected my view of her".
Affect may refer to:
- Affect (philosophy)
- Affect (psychology)
- Affect (linguistics), the grammar of expressing affect
- Affective computing, an area of research in computer science aiming to understand the emotional state of users
- Affekt, a German term often used in musical and other aesthetic theory
- Doctrine of the affections, an important theory in the aesthetics of music
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