ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 188-205.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00188

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


刘小禹(), 付静宇   

  1. 对外经济贸易大学国际商学院, 北京 100029
  • 收稿日期:2021-04-02 出版日期:2022-01-15 发布日期:2021-11-25
  • 基金资助:

The theory and application of the Emotions as Social Information (EASI) Model

LIU Xiaoyu(), FU Jingyu   

  1. Business School, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2021-04-02 Online:2022-01-15 Published:2021-11-25


情绪即社会信息(Emotions as Social Information model, EASI)模型旨在阐释他人情绪如何通过情感反应和推断加工机制影响观察者的决策, 以及认知动机和合适性判断在其中的调节作用。文章将EASI模型与相关理论进行了辨析, 并基于对63项使用该理论的实证研究的分析, 梳理归纳了EASI模型在领导力、团队、顾客服务、谈判及说服领域展开的应用, 以及影响EASI模型的边界条件——信息加工程度和合适性判断的具体因素。未来研究需加强系统化验证、深化与其它理论的整合、拓展应用情境和优化测量方法。

关键词: 情绪即社会信息模型, 情感反应, 推断加工, 认知动机, 合适性判断


The Emotions as Social Information (EASI) model posits that emotional expressions exert interpersonal effects by triggering affective reactions and/or inferential processes in observers, depending on the observer’s information processing and the perceived appropriateness of the emotional expression. Since the EASI model was proposed, it has attracted extensive attention from researchers. Unfortunately, as a rising theory in recent ten years, the EASI model is still less studied in China. What are the unique theoretical contributions of the EASI model compared with other emotion theories? What progress has the EASI model made in recent ten years? What problems have been solved in various fields by using the EASI model? What other issues about the EASI model deserve further attention? To answer the above research questions, this paper discriminates the EASI model with other related theories, such as feelings-as-information theory, the dual-process model, the dual threshold model of anger, emotional contagion theory and affective event theory, to clarify the unique contributions of the EASI model in explaining emotion and related phenomena. Then, we searched and screened the empirical papers which clearly stated that they are based on the EASI model on Google Scholar, and found 63 papers in total. We review the application of the EASI model in the fields of leadership, team, customer service, negotiation and persuasion, and summarize the factors influencing the boundary conditions of the EASI model—the degree of information processing and perceived appropriateness based on the analysis of the 63 empirical papers using the EASI model. Overall, the inferential processes and affective reactions mechanism of the EASI model have been extensively verified in various fields. Among them, there are 33 studies in the field of leadership, 9 studies in the field of teamwork, 8 studies in the field of customer service, 8 studies in the field of negotiation, and 5 studies in the field of persuasion. There are mainly three factors influencing the degree of information processing: epistemic motivation (e.g., need for cognitive closure, personal need for structure, cognitive load), observer’s personality (e.g., implicit personality theory, conscientiousness, moral orientation, regulatory orientation, proactive personality) and employee’s efficiency. There are mainly four factors influencing perceived appropriateness: situational factors (e.g., emotional expression rules, culture, the relationship between the expressor and the observer), emotional expression content (e.g., intensity of the expression, authenticity of the expression, the target of the expression), expressor’s characteristics (e.g., leadership style, gender, race, power, status) and observer’s characteristics (e.g., agreeableness, regulatory orientation, power distance orientation, perceived leadership power). Based on the EASI model, we further integrate the existing research findings of the content structure, mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions of the social function of emotions into an integrated framework. Following our review, we identify avenues for future investigations. Future research should (1) strengthen the systematic verification of the EASI model, such as investigate both of the inferential processes and affective reactions as well as the observer’s information processing and perceived appropriateness at the same time, consider both of the reciprocal emotions and complementary emotions when investigate observer’s affective reactions; (2) enhance the integration of the EASI model with other theories (e.g., the dual threshold model of anger, emotion regulation theory, the adapted elaboration likelihood model); (3) extend the application context of the EASI model, specifically, future study can explore the mixed emotional expressions of one individual in multiple natural interaction situations, investigate the effect when the observer perceives different emotional expressions from different individuals at the same time, explore the possible effect when the observer perceives multiple emotional expressions changes of the same individual on related events at different time points, track the long-term social effect of emotional expressions, and explore the bystander effect of emotional expressions and the application of EASI in new organizational contexts; and (4) improve the measurement methods of inferential processes and affective reactions.

Key words: Emotions as Social Information Model, affective reactions, inferential processes, epistemic motivation, perceived appropriateness