Affective vs. Effective | Difference & Example Sentences
Affective and effective are two adjectives that are commonly confused.
Affective (pronounced [af-ek-tiv]) describes something that influences or causes feelings or emotions. It can also describe how these emotions are expressed.
Effective (pronounced [if-ek-tiv]) instead signifies that something is having an effect (especially the effect that was hoped for).
Examples: “Affective” in a sentence
Examples: “Effective” in a sentence
affective disorder made it difficult for her to work a standard job.
Cognitive bias can be suggested by several affective symptoms. You’re fired,
The new study methods proved
effective for the at-risk students.
TipThe best approach is to bear in mind that effective is a much more commonly used word than affective. If the sentence doesn’t immediately relate to feelings or emotions, the correct word is effective.
The distinction made here is the same as that between the related words
—where, again, affect and effect affect (as a noun) is much rarer than effect.
Uses of effective
Effective is a very commonly used word—much more common than affective. It’s typically used to mean “having the intended effect.” It can also simply mean having any effect at all, being in effect, or being actual (as opposed to potential).
Examples: Effective in a sentencePilates is an effective way to improve your posture.
The new policy is
effective from next Monday onward.
effective output of the factory is much lower than its production capacity.
Note Effective comes from the noun effect—the result of some cause. Another related noun is effectiveness (or, very rarely, effectivity)—the quality of being effective (e.g., “The effectiveness of the new law was lauded in academic circles”). The adverb is effectively.
Uses of affective
Affective is always used in relation to feelings or emotions. It is an important term in the field of psychology, but it’s otherwise not a particularly common word. You’re unlikely to see it often in other contexts.
Examples: Affective in a sentenceConditions such as depression and bipolar disorder are often referred to as affective disorders.
affective responses were monitored closely.
Note Affective comes from the noun affect, meaning emotion or the way in which emotion is displayed. Another related noun is affectivity—the quality of being affective. The adverb is affectively. Worksheet: Effective vs. affective
Test your knowledge of the difference between “affective” and “effective” with these
practice sentences. Fill in either “accept” or “except” in each sentence.
The policy proved quite ________ at stopping truancy.
She was diagnosed with an _______ disorder as a teenager.
Unfortunately, the treatment was not __________ in curing her illness.
It is thought that one’s ______ abilities impact one’s emotional development.
When do the new rules become _______?
The policy proved quite effective at stopping truancy.
Since the policy had the effect it should have, use “effective.”
She was diagnosed with an affective disorder as a teenager.
“Affective disorder” is a psychological term used to refer to conditions affecting the emotions, such as depression.
Unfortunately, the treatment was not effective in curing her illness.
Since the issue is whether the treatment had the effect it should have, use “effective.”
It is thought that one’s affective abilities impact one’s emotional development.
The phrase “emotional development” here suggests that you should use “affective.”
When do the new rules become effective ?
“Effective” here means “active” or “in effect”—the question is when the new rules come into action.
Frequently asked questions
What is a synonym for affective?
, as an Affective adjective with quite a specific meaning—“relating to the emotions”—in the field of psychology, should usually not be replaced with a synonym, as it wouldn’t capture the same meaning.
Some words that capture similar meanings are “emotional” and “sentimental,” but these are less specific terms that are used in more general contexts.
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Affective vs. Effective | Difference & Example Sentences. Scribbr.
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