From what I know, intuition is affect-based. But how do they differ?


Affect is a fundamental feature of consciousness and is a mental representation of input from the body to the brain. Affect corresponds to feelings of (un)pleasantness and activation (arousal).

Emotions are conceptualizations (interpretations) of your affect in a given context. You might feel pleasant and highly aroused (an affective feeling) on a roller coaster, and your conceptualization of that affect in that context would be "excitement" (an emotional feeling). In this sense, emotions are what we would traditionally consider to be "cognitive."


Under this scheme, intuition doesn't really have a direct, formal relationship to affect or emotion, although intuitions are often affective (well, pretty much everything is affective). But see here for a more informed discussion of the literature.




the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired (Miriam Webster Dictionary; Oxford English Dictionary)



the experience of feeling or emotion. (Hogg, et al. 2010)



any relatively brief conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure (Cabanac, 2002; Schacter, 2011). Scientific discourse has drifted to other meanings and there is no consensus on a definition.

An emotion can be an affect as a result of intuition


Cabanac, M. (2002). What is emotion? In: Behavioural Processes 60(2): 69-83
DOI: 10.1016/S0376-6357(02)00078-5 PMID: 12426062
Free PDF Available from ResearchGate

Hogg, M.A., Abrams, D., & Martin, G.N. (2010). Social cognition and attitudes. In: Martin, G.N., Carlson, N.R., Buskist, W., (Ed.), Psychology (pp 646-677). Harlow:Pearson Education Limited.

Schacter, D. L., Gilbert, D.T., Wegner, D.M. (2011). Psychology Second Edition. New York, NY:Worth Publishers. p. 310. ISBN 978-1-4292-3719-2.


Intuition is unrelated to the other two, because it is an aspect of cognition. Meanwhile affect is "the experience... of emotion", meaning that these terms are more or less synonymous.

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    $\begingroup$ "Intuition is unrelated to the other two" - What about the issues of emotion caused by the outcomes of intuition? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Apr 26 '17 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ By "unrelated" I mean that there is a clear conceptual distinction between affect and cognition. Of course cognition (including intuition) can impact affect, and also vice versa. $\endgroup$ – Brian Z Apr 26 '17 at 20:03

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