Affective Objectives

Objectives in the affective domain refer to the acquisition of values, attitudes, and beliefs. These are important in nursing because the profession provides care to human beings. Professional behaviors are often written in the affective domain.

Affective objectives present a challenge for measurement. It is much more difficult to identify ways to measure achievement of the outcome "Appreciates complexities of providing care to persons from diverse backgrounds" as compared with "Lists five components of safe practice."

Five levels of objectives have been proposed for the affective domain:

  • Receiving: refers to a student's willingness to give attention to a particular topic/focus
  • Responding: refers to a student's actual participation
  • Valuing: focuses on the worth a student attaches to an object, behavior, or topic
  • Organizing: focuses on the bringing together of different values and arriving at a consistent framework
  • Characterized by a value system: specific system or set of values directs behaviors of person

Refer to for specifics about the affective domain, verbs to use, and examples of types of activities indicative of achievement of outcomes related to that level of the domain.

Although objectives in the affective domain present challenges in terms of measurement, they are important to include in the objectives for a class or course. Students need to give attention to their underlying beliefs, become more tolerant of diverse viewpoints, and begin to recognize how one's values can influence interactions and care provided.

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  • Last modified on September 5, 2012