Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_12


Affect is a term used in psychology to denote the broad field of emotional- and mood-based experience of the human subject and is a concept deployed in the poststructural theory of Deleuze and Guattarri (1987) and related fields of social and cultural theory, to describe the means of visceral communication which invests the experience of relationship between an organism and its environment with meaning, in the broadest possible sense. Protevi writes, “An affect is that which a body is capable of, and so the affectivity of conceptual personae becomes materially grounded in what Alliez will later not hesitate to call a ‘biology of intellectual action’” (Protevi 2005).

When we consider that affect involves embodied, visceral perception that is intuitively apprehended (Bion), is object relational, and may be both generative of cognition and a product of cognition, or even precognitive (instinctual) or trans-cognitive (integrative), we can understand that affect mediates all...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Deleuze, G., & Guattarri, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia (trans: Massumi, B.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  2. Harrison, J. R. (2006). Analytic meditative therapy as the inverse of symbol formation and reification. Journal of Religion and Health, 45(1), 73–92.Google Scholar
  3. Hill, P. C., & Hood, R. W., Jr. (1999). Affect, religion and unconscious processes. Journal of Personality, 67(6), 1015–1046.Google Scholar
  4. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living. London: Kiathus.Google Scholar
  5. McGroarty, B. I. (2006). Humility, contemplation and affect theory. Journal of Religion and Health, 45(1), 57–72.Google Scholar
  6. Protevi, J. (2005). Review of ‘The signature of the world: What is Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy?’ In E. Alliez (Ed.), Notre Dame philosophical reviews. Retrieved from http://www.ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm. Accessed Jan 2008.
  7. Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2002). Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Tomkins, S. (1962). Affect, imagery and consciousness Vol. 1: The positive affects. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Tomkins, S. (1963). Affect, imagery and consciousness Vol. 2: The negative affects. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Tomkins, S. (1991). Affect, imagery and consciousness Vol. 3: The negative affects. Anger and fear. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Tomkins, S. (1992). Affect, imagery and consciousness Vol. 4: Cognition: Duplication and transformation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sri Lanka International Buddhist AcademyKandySri Lanka