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A lot of people would define "affection" they way they define good art: "I can't explain it, but I know it when I see it." For a scientist, however, that's not enough.
Creativity is considered an attractive trait by both men and women. Research from ASU shows that the reverse is also true--feelings of attraction inspire the imagination. People automatically become more creative when they have a romantic partner in mind.
Being affectionate is good for you. Affection can be a simple, inexpensive, and non-pharmaceutical way to reduce stress.