Sportopedia Glossary



Designation for a short term, spontaneously raised feeling or emotional state of high intensity and associated with distinct expressive behavior. In contrast to mood or a specific emotion, an affective state is characterized by a cognitive short circuit and significant physiological activation resulting in a problem for rational action control and movement regulation. In consequence, a person who has shown affective behavior is regarded, e.g., from a juridical perspective, to be of limited responsibility for the action.

In a broad interpretation, each emotional reaction is understood to be an affective process and sometimes a special emotional state, a single emotion is referred to as affect. In regard to a consistent conceptualization,
affective processes are regarded to be complementary to cognitive processes and the classical differentiation between affect and cognition is considered as being two sides of a medal (see e.g., Piaget, 1954).

Piaget, J. (1954). Les relations entre l affectivite´ et l intelligence dans le development mental de l enfant. Paris: Centre de documentation

***Contributed by Dieter Hackfort for Hackfort, D., Schinke, R. J., & Strauss, B. (Eds.). (2019). Dictionary of sport psychology: sport, exercise, and performing arts. Academic Press.