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Back to the Future: 25 Years of Research in Affect Control Theory

Advances in Group Processes

ISBN: 978-1-78441-078-0

Publication date: 1 January 2014



To provide a comprehensive review of theoretical and research advances in affect control theory from 1988 to 2013 for academic and student researchers in social psychology.


Against the background of a concise history of affect control theory from its beginnings in the 1960s to its maturation in the late 1980s, a comprehensive review of research and publications in the last 25 years is reported in five sections: Theoretical Advances (e.g., self and institutions, nonverbal behavior, neuroscience, artificial intelligence); Technological Advances (e.g., electronic data collection, computer simulations, cultural surveys, equation refinement, small groups analysis); Cross-Cultural Research (archived data and published analyses); Empirical Tests of the Theory; and Substantive Applications (e.g., emotions, social and cultural change, occupations/work, politics, gender/ideology/subcultures, deviance, criminology, stereotyping, physiological behavior).


Reveals an impressive number of publications in this area, including over 120 articles and chapters and four major books, and a great deal of cross-cultural research, including European, Asian, and Middle-Asian cultures.

Research Limitation/Implications (if applicable)

Because of limitations of space, the review does not cover the large number of theses, dissertations, and research reports.


No other review of affect control theory with this scope and detail exists.



MacKinnon, N.J. and Robinson, D.T. (2014), "Back to the Future: 25 Years of Research in Affect Control Theory", Advances in Group Processes (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 139-173.



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