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Affective technologies refer to digital products designed to have a sense of human emotions. These technologies are equipped with sensors that allow the system access the emotional state of an individual. Developers of affective technologies target users on three main cognitive levels - Instinctive, behavioural and reflective patterns. 

Given that every human sends an emotional signal, it is necessary for developers of technologies to understand the kinds of personalities and emotions given off when users interact with their technology. This means that having a deep understanding of emotions - the theory of human emotions is very important in the development of affective technologies.

How far is it necessary to have this understanding? 

Generally speaking, a deep understanding of this will greatly improve the technology. But in some cases, having a fair idea of how users react emotionally will be sufficient to achieve an affective technology.

An example of an affective technology is the present day social media. Developers of social platforms have a deep understanding of how human emotions work. Features like friend suggestions, search auto completions and suggestions, like and dislike buttons, comments and many more features all exist to soothe human emotions. The theory of human emotions is employed in the design of social algorithms to make humans feel connected to these social platforms.

Please leave a comment below and share with students in your network if you found this explanation helpful. Happy learning!

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