Social baseline theory: State of the science and new directions

Lane Beckes, David A. Sbarra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Social baseline theory (SBT) maintains that the primary human ecology is a social ecology. Because of this fact, the theory predicts that humans will find it easier and less energetically taxing to regulate emotion and act when in proximity to familiar and predictable others. This article reviews new empirical and theoretical work related to SBT and highlights areas of needed research. Among these exciting developments are investigations of the neural mechanisms of social emotion regulation, the creation of a model of social allostasis, and work investigating at the impact of social proximity in real-world contexts. SBT continues to accrue support and inspire new theoretical and empirical contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Allostatic load
  • Social baseline theory
  • Social emotion regulation
  • Social support
  • Touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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