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Electron affinity refers to the amount of energy that is released when a neutral element gains an electron to become negatively charged. The higher the release in energy, the higher likelihood it gains electrons.
Electron affinity is the energy released when an electron is added to a gas-phase atom. If the electron affinity is positive, then energy is released when the electron is added to the atom. This would occur if the electron has a lower energy when it occupies the atom's orbital. If the electron affinity is negative, then energy is needed to add the electron to the atom. This is the case with noble gas elements. It is unfavorable to add an electron to the noble gases, as the added electron would be in an orbital outside the filled shell and away from the nucleus and thus requires a large input of energy.
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