The term affectivity is derived from the word affect and refers to the different emotions that a person can show in different situations. Affection can be defined as a variety of emotional impulses impossible to be mastered and that constitute a substrate shared by all people. Affectivity is the field of study in psychology and has been a matter of debate before with the first philosophical approaches to it. Over time, there have been important advances that associate different areas of the brain with the actions a person can take; circumstance acquired through a methodological research.
The first aspect to be considered when talking about affectivity is that it is impossible to consciously decide. In fact, all people can perceive emotions without having a control over them, moreover, they appear throughout life in the most varied situations of life. What can really be decided is the attitude taken in face of these moments and the actions that have arisen. It is also possible to carry out actions that contribute to different types of affection. So, for example, making decisions that benefit oneself can result in a feeling of well-being.
This difference between will and affection happens since ancient times, especially in the Middle Ages and in the context of the theory developed by St. Thomas. In fact, for the theologian there is a clear difference between what a free decision means and what is a simple affective inclination . This circumstance is mainly due to the elucidation of ethical issues. Affects can vary and be included in immoral facts, but this does not mean that there is guilt in those who experience them as long as a free decision has not been made about them.
More contemporaneously, psychology has largely deepened with these considerations. For example, psychoanalysis refers to impulses that exist beyond consciousness and freedom . This is why it is said that the first step in solving any type of problem that refers to the disorganization of an affect is to become aware of it. In fact, this circumstance only becomes possible when the necessary decisions are taken to respond to the inconveniences, thus mobilizing internal and external resources .