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6. Analogic Amplification


  • Understand analogic amplification and how affect coordinates reactions with the stimuli that trigger them.
  • Be able to discuss how differences in innate reactivity to stimuli might produce different personality types.


EA, “Modification in the Theory,” pp. 86-96.

AIC III-IV, “Affect as Analogic Amplification,” Chapter 24, SuperVolume II, pp. 619-629.

TT, David McShane, “Nature of Analog Amplification,” 29 January 1998.

Bulletin, v4, #3-4, 1994, Joseph M. Dubey, “Predatory Detachment and the Stimulus Gradient Threshold,” pp. 38-41.

Bulletin, v2, #2, 1995, Ronald R. Koegler, “Affect Theory and the Psychiatric Evaluation: Lowering the Empathic Wall,” pp. 17-19.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How did Tomkins modify his theory? Why did he believe it was necessary?
  2. What is analogic amplification?
  3. What is the locus of affect?
  4. Why are we not more aware of affect if it’s so important?
  5. How does affect influence response? Is the influence a cause and effect? (For example, “I was angry, so I hit him.”)
  6. How does Dubey apply Tomkins’s theory to ADD/ADHD?
  7. For most people, distress and fear in another trigger compassion or the same affects.
  8. What emotions get triggered in a predator observing these affects?
  9. What is an “inverse empathic” response?
  10. What is the empathic wall?