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This paper presents an ecologically motivated, bottom-up approach to investigating the evolution of expression, perception and related behaviour of affective internal states that complements game-theoretic studies of the evolutionary success of animal display. Our results show that the perception of displays related to affect greatly influences both the types of display produced and also the survival prospects of agents. Relative to agents that do not perceive rival agent internal state, affect perceivers prosper if the initial environment in which they reside provides numerous opportunities for interaction with other agents and resources. Conversely, where the initial environment with sparse resources does not allow for regular interaction, ability to perceive affect is not as facilitatory to survival. Furthermore, the agents evolve particular display strategies distorting the expression of affect and greatly influencing the proportion of affect perceiving to nonaffect perceiving agents over evolutionary time.