The Dynamic Nature of Leisure Experience: An Application of Affect Control Theory Academic Article uri icon


  • Leisure experiences are believed to be dynamic and to emerge through an interaction process. A lack of theoretically based research has kept leisure scholars from developing a systematic understanding of this process. Affect Control Theory provides one basis for understanding the emerging and dynamic nature of emotions experienced during recreation. We have adopted the theory and applied it to a behavioral setting where people interact with social and physical aspects of the environment. One hundred and eleven respondents were intercepted and surveyed on a multiple-use trail in an urban greenway. An analysis program developed by Heise (1991) INTERACT II was used to predict emotions based on respondents' evaluations of events they encountered on the trail. Examples are conveyed that suggest why and how emotions, as a part of a recreational trail experience, differ both within a respondent's experience and between respondents' experiences. Results suggest that Affect Control Theory has potential to help explain how an interaction process in recreation creates a dynamic experience.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Leisure Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, B., & Shafer, C. S.

citation count

  • 53

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Bongkoo||Shafer, C Scott

publication date

  • September 2002