Affective vs. effective

Effective means something that produces an intended result. Affective means something that has been influenced by, is a result of, or expresses emotion. Affective and effective are derived from affect and effect. While affect and effect have verb and noun forms, affective and effective are only used as adjectives.

Affective vs. effective

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions
  2. Differences
  3. Examples

Differences between effective and affective

Though affective and effective are homophones, they have different meanings and uses: Below are some examples sentences using effective and affective.


  • Describes something that has been influenced by, is a result of, or expresses emotion
  • Comes from the noun affect, which means an emotional state
  • Used as a synonym for “emotional”
  • Commonly used in the field of psychology to suggest something is influenced by feelings, mood, or emotions

Affective examples


  • Describes something that produces a desired effect or outcome
  • Comes from the noun effect, which means result
  • Used more regularly in everyday language
  • Suggests something has successfully created a desired result
  • If something is described as effective, it is always meant positively
  • If the subject matter does not include feeling, emotions, or moods, effective is correct

Effective example sentences

Affective vs. effective examples

Here are five examples showing how to use affective in a sentence:

  • What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?
  • Affective development is as important as physical development.
  • Research into affective behavior illustrates the role of fear.
  • Affective responses are not as easy to see as physical ones.
  • In psychology, affective science studies the functions of emotions.

Here are some example sentences using the word effective:

  • The team captain proved himself to be an effective.
  • The new law is effective.
  • The most effective way to lose weight is diet and exercise.
  • Advertising on television is much more effective than advertising on the radio.
  • The state-of-the-art computer graphics effectively made the dinosaurs look realistic.

What you learned:

After working your way through this lesson and video, you have learned:

  • The meanings of and differences between affective and effective
  • When to use affective or effective
  • Examples sentences using both effective and affective
Instructor: Malcolm M.
Malcolm has a Master's Degree in education and holds four teaching certificates. He has been a public school teacher for 27 years, including 15 years as a mathematics teacher.

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