The Affective Domain

By Doug Smith, CEO, Medical Educator

One of our ultimate goals at Platinum Educational Group is to help create a competent, confident, and CARING provider. It is the caring provider that is formed using the affective domain. This article is designed to help the reader better understand that domain.

The affective domain deals with a person’s bedside, or cot-side, behavior. There is often a misconception that the affective domain deals with a person’s feelings. This misconception has lead us down a path that suggests we can’t measure the affective domain. We do not advocate measuring a student’s feelings as this is indeed impossible to know. What I can measure is the behavior they demonstrate. I can’t tell of they feel angry, I can however measure that they acted angrily. This is where the affective domain can be best understood is in measuring these behaviors.

Like the cognitive and psychomotor domain, the affective domain is broken up into different Bloom Levels. These levels are:

  • Receiving-Being willing to listen to how one should act.
  • Responding-Being willing to act in the appropriate way when being graded (Can be thought of as a forced compliance).
  • Valuing-Being willing to behave in a certain manner because the individual values this behavior.
  • Organizing-Behaving in an appropriate manner even in unrelated situations as the person is begging to internalize these behaviors.
  • Characterizing-Always behaving in an appropriate behavior without even thinking about it as the behavior has become a part of them.

The Affective Domain is best taught in lecture and by example. It is best measured by observation and the reliability of this measurement can be increased by repeated observations where the student is unaware of the examination. Some Affective objectives can be measured with written test items, but this is a very difficult exercise and is also very limited. Platinum is in the process of adding Affective level questions and observation forms into our EMSTesting platform. We anticipate the rollout for the written test items to occur before this summer and the observational forms to be available by the start of next school year. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions at 616-818-7877.