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|
|Her affective disorder made it difficult for her to work a standard job.
Cognitive bias can be suggested by several affective symptoms.
|You’re fired, effective immediately.
The new study methods proved effective for the at-risk students.
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).
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.
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 effective?
A few synonyms and near synonyms for effective include:
- What is a synonym for affective?
Affective, as an 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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