Lisa Feldman Barrett states that
Emotions are just dispositions of our body and brain in material space. If something is material, it is reproducible, emotions are a material occurance and are therefore reproducible, although they require the brain and body to produce it in the first place. […] The science of emotion (the science of psychology, actually) should explicitly theorize about how to integrate physical, mental, and social levels of construction. This is not esoteric philosophy. It is a necessary tool for doing science. (Lisa Feldman Barrett, Emotions Are Real in “Emotion” 2012, Vol. 12, No. 3, 413–42)
Elly A. Konijn referes to Barret and distinguishes between affect and emotion.
Most scholars now acknowledge cognitive appraisal perspectives, including evolutionary and neurobiological scholars (e.g., LeDoux 1996; Panksepp 1998; Barrett & Wager 2006 → Appraisal Theory). That is, a certain degree of understanding the situational meaning in relation to personal concerns is necessary for an emotion to occur. Thus, the recent loosening of positing affect versus cognition in emotion psychology parallels the blurring of the cognitive and information functions and the affective and entertainment functions of media fare.
Affect covers various concepts, such as moods, feelings, and emotions. Mood is often applied to an enduring affective state, characterized by being global and not clearly elicited by an external event. Moods are not felt as motivated by inner drives related to situational demands. Moods may also have a biochemical source (e.g., epinephrine) or may be experimentally induced, as in some media exposure studies (e.g., Lang 2000).
Emotion is more clearly defined by a specific event, with a beginning and ending. It is the awareness of situational demands, personal concerns, action readiness, and often physio- logical change, along with hedonic quality. Emotions comprise the felt need to act or not to act, to serve one’s needs, goals, or concerns (Frijda 1986).
A crucial difference between affects and emotions is that emotions have an object and relate to meaningful events, whereas affects are rather free-floating and objectless (Russell & Barrett 1999). Affect refers to consciously accessible feelings and their neurophysio- logical counterparts. Thus, affect is usually reflected in varying degrees of pleasure– displeasure, or positive–negative affect, as well as (de)arousal or (de)activation. Furthermore, affects are conceptualized as longer-lasting phenomena than emotions.
(Elly A. Konijn in Affects and Media Exposure, 2006)