Stanislavski’s Acting Method and Control Theory: Commonalities across Time, Place, and Field

Author/Creator ORCID




School of Humanities and Social Sciences



Citation of Original Publication

Bilgrave, D. P., & Deluty, R. H. (2004). Stanislavski's acting method and control theory: commonalities across time, place, and field. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 32(4), 329-340.



Constantin Stanislavski revolutionized 20th century theater by developing a highly articulated and practical system of acting, now referred to simply as 'the method.' Stanislavski's method presents a model of human behavior and motivation that is strikingly similar to the 'control theory' of psychologists Charles Carver and Michael Scheier. These similarities are in the areas of (a) the regulation of behavior by goals, (b) the process of goal formation, (c) the hierarchical organization of behavior, (d) the disruption of goals by obstacles, (e) outcome expectancies, (f) the sequencing of behavior into units, and (g) the formation of identity. These commonalities provide something akin to 'construct validity' for the basic assertions of each model.