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The present chapter expands on recent research demonstrating an empirical link between theoretical constructs within affect control theory (ACT) and expectation states…
The present chapter expands on recent research demonstrating an empirical link between theoretical constructs within affect control theory (ACT) and expectation states theory. I explore the utility of a joint application of the two theories, employing simulated interactions to examine status organizing processes.
Although simulation results do not constitute data by which theoretical claims can be tested, they are useful for developing new research questions. I report results from a series of simulated dyadic interactions using ACT’s Interact program to investigate potential emotional and identity processes that underlie the enactment of status differences, and to explore affective responses to the legitimation and delegitimation of status orders.
Simulation results call attention to a dynamic interplay between structural elements of the situation and the agentic behavior of interactants, suggesting that behavioral attempts to reduce deflections may lead to shifts in expectations over the course of interaction. Results raise the possibility that differences in affective impressions may produce expectations that are initially asymmetrical between interaction partners. Further, results suggest that the standardized tasks commonly employed in expectation states research may unintentionally generate affective responses that encourage status convergence.
Drawing on insights and methods from ACT, expectation states researchers can improve the scientific understanding of small group interaction. Employing simulated interactions, researchers can promote theoretical advancement by uncovering new lines of inquiry at the intersection of two prominent social psychological traditions. Simulations also provide a further tool for methodological refinement within the standardized experimental setting.
We review literature linking patterns of vocal accommodation in the paraverbal range of the voice to small group structures of status and dominance. We provide a thorough…
We review literature linking patterns of vocal accommodation in the paraverbal range of the voice to small group structures of status and dominance. We provide a thorough overview of the current state of vocal accommodation research, tracing the development of the model from its early focus on patterns of mutual vocal adaptation, to the current focus on structural factors producing patterns of unequal accommodation between group members. We also highlight gaps in existing knowledge and opportunities to contribute to the development of vocal accommodation as an unobtrusive, nonconscious measure of small group hierarchies.
We trace the empirical development of vocal accommodation as a measure of status and power, and discuss connections between vocal accommodation and two prominent theoretical frameworks: communication accommodation theory (CAT) and expectation states theory. We also provide readers with a guide for collecting and analyzing vocal data and for calculating two related measures of vocal accommodation.
Across multiple studies, vocal accommodation significantly predicts observers’ perceptions regarding interactants engaged in debates and interviews. Studies have specifically linked vocal accommodation to perceptions of relative power or dominance, but have not shown a relationship between accommodation and perceptions of prestige.
Vocal accommodation measures have clear applications for measuring and modeling group dynamics. More work is needed to understand how accommodation functions in clearly-defined status situations, how the magnitude of status differences affects the degree of accommodation inequality, and how vocal accommodation is related to other correlates of social status, including openness to influence and contributions to group tasks.
We survey and organize over fifty years of theoretical research on status and expectation state processes. After defining some key terms in this theoretical approach, we…
We survey and organize over fifty years of theoretical research on status and expectation state processes. After defining some key terms in this theoretical approach, we briefly describe theories and branches in the program.
We also focus on a few theories that illustrate distinct patterns of theory growth, using them to show the variety of ways in which the research program has grown.
The program structure developed from a single set of theories on development and maintenance of group inequality in the 1960s to six interrelated branches by 1988. Between 1988 and today, the overall structure has grown to total 19 different branches. We briefly describe each branch, identifying over 200 resources for the further study of these branches.
Although the various branches share key concepts and processes, they have been developed by different researchers, in a variety of settings from laboratories to schools to business organizations. Second, we outline some important issues for further research in some of the branches. Third, we emphasize the value of developing new research methods for testing and applying the theories.
These theories have been used to explain phenomena of gender, racial, and ethnic inequality among others, and for understanding some cases of personality attributions, deviance and control processes, and application of double standards in hiring.
Status and expectation state processes often operate to produce invidious social inequalities. Understanding these processes can enable social scientists to devise more effective interventions to reduce these inequalities.
Originality/Value of the Chapter
Status and expectation state processes occupy a significant segment of research into group processes. This chapter provides an authoritative overview of ideas in the program, what is known, and what remains to be discovered.