Negative affect refers to a wide range of feelings (affects) that don’t feel good (negative). Examples include fear, nervousness, and shame.
Last Updated: March 24 2022
“Affect” is a broad term used in psychology for anything having to do with the mental component of emotions. These mental events can have what psychologists call a valence: they can feel good or bad. “Negative affect” is a mental event associated with emotions that feels bad. Examples include sadness, fear, or shame.
One common scale that is used to measure both negative affect and positive (good-feeling) affect is the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS).