Expectancy Violations Theory

1116 Words5 Pages
Expectancy Violation Theory on Perspective
Haylie Ridenhour
Missouri State University

Communication is the network that connects people in romantic, platonic, and domestic relationships. Often, many expectations are developed throughout the duration of the relationship giving way to the probability that they will be violated in a negative or positive way. Expectancy violations theory was first introduced to the communications field by Judee Burgoon. This theory aims to predict how partners in a relationship will react to a violation of their expectancies while considering the dynamic, context, and characteristics of the communicator. Many studies have been conducted using this theory to analyze violations of intimacy rejection
…show more content…
The objectivist nature of this theory supports the goal to predict how active parties in the relationship will behave to the violation whether it be a positive or negative valence. The type of violation committed paired with “the extent that interaction partners violate expectancies, they increase one’s uncertainty during social interactions, thereby increasing demand evaluations” (Blascovich, Hunter, Jost, Lickel, & Mendes, 2007, pg. 699). This means that when there are two acting parties in a conversation and one violates an expectancy of the other, that person usually demands explanations and clarification. If the situation is not social, and rather in the work place in “the context of swearing, individuals who violate expected behaviors are also often evaluated more negatively than those who follow expected norms” (Johnson & Lewis, 2010, pg. 110). The use of inappropriate language in any formal or professional setting most often generates a negative valence from the people with violated expectancies. Typically, after one has committed an action or said something that has negatively violated an expectation, it is a normal behavior for apologies to be given to resolve the conflict. This is the easiest and usually quickest way people tend to solve problems but only if “the offender apologizes and is pleasantly surprised to find his or her apology is accepted, assigning a positive valence to the violation.…show more content…
Can there be violations when there is no personal relationship? “The characteristics of the communicator may include demographics, personality traits, or biological sex” (Johnson & Lewis, 2010) that allow the viewer to feel like they have a relationship with this figure. Due to these factors “expectancies develop from the communicator’s characteristics, the viewer’s relationship with the communicator, and contextual factors” (Burgoon, & Jones, 1976). For example, if a woman watches a soup opera every day for a year, it is likely she will feel some sort of personal relationship because she thinks she knows everything about those characters. It’s when one of the actors violates an expectation in the show that she has a negative valence form about that person. Without a face-to-face personal relationship, many believe expectancies cannot truly be violated, but “extant research has shown that expectancy violations occur when people consume mass media messages through processes such as the formation of parasocial relationships” (Cohen, 2010). A parasocial relation can be defined as a one-sided relationship with one party giving time and being emotionally invested, while the other party has no knowledge of their existence. Walter and Martin (2015) claim that “expectancies acclimate to various situations, and it is from
Open Document