What Is Affection?
Even a very simple demonstration of affection can have a broad variety of emotional reactions, from embarrassment to disgust to pleasure and annoyance. It also has a different physical effect on the giver and the receiver.
Affection can be communicated by looks, words, gestures, or touches. It conveys love and social connection. Affectionate behavior may have evolved from parental nurturing behavior due to its associations with hormonal rewards. Such affection has been shown to influence brain development in infants. Expressions of affection can be unwelcome if they pose implied threats to one’s well being. If welcomed, affectionate behavior may be associated with various health benefits. It has been proposed that positive sentiments increase the propensity of people to interact and that familiarity gained through affection increases positive sentiments among them.
Benefits of affection
Main article: Prayers for Love and Affection
Affection exchange is seen as an adaptive human behavior that contributes to greater physical and mental well-being. The expression of affection mediates emotional, physical, and relational benefits for the individual and significant counterparts. The communication of positive feelings towards others has shown health benefits that include; lower stress hormones, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and stronger immune system. Benefits are internally noticed when the emotion is expressed and not merely felt, if affection is not reciprocated through the receiver, effects of the affection are still felt through the giver.
Affectionate behavior is often regarded as the result of parental nurturing behavior due to its associations with hormonal rewards. Positive and negative parental behaviors can be linked to later life health problems. Abuse is a common attribute to poor health in later life, as the lack of affection leads to naturally poorer well-being and mental health. A 2013 study showed the effects of early child abuse and the outcome between lack of affection and the strong biological link for how these negative early-life experiences affect physical health.
Affectionism is a school of thought which considers affections as central importance. Although it is not found in mainstream Western philosophy, it does exist in Indian philosophy.
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- according to Communication professor Kory Floyd of the University of Arizona
- Infant Observation: International Journal of Infant Observation and Its Applications
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- Affection Expression
- UCLA affection
- Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1995). Transformations in Consciousness: The Metaphysics and Epistemology: Containing His Introceptualism. State University of New York Press. p. 45. ISBN0-7914-2675-0.
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