Predicting performance expectations from affective impressions: linking affect control theory and status characteristics theory

Soc Sci Res. 2015 Mar:50:1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.11.001. Epub 2014 Nov 13.


Affect control theory (ACT) and status characteristics theory (SCT) offer separate and distinct explanations for how individuals interpret and process status- and power-relevant information about interaction partners. Existing research within affect control theory offers evidence that status and power are related to the affective impressions that individuals form of others along the dimensions of evaluation and potency, respectively. Alternately, status characteristics theory suggests that status and power influence interaction through the mediating cognitive construct of performance expectations. Although both theories have amassed an impressive amount of empirical support, research has yet to articulate theoretical and empirical connections between affective impressions and performance expectations. The purpose of our study is to address this gap. Elaborating a link between ACT and SCT in terms of their central concepts can serve as a stepping stone to improving the explanatory capacity of both theories, while providing a potential bridge by which they can be employed jointly.

Keywords: Affect control; Expectation states; Status characteristics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect*
  • Anticipation, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Young Adult