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Expectancy Violations Theory

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on 12 September 2017

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Transcript of Expectancy Violations Theory

First things first...
Judee Burgoon:

Communication Scholar,
University of Arizona, Objective Framework (soft determinism)

Expectancy Violations Theory: A Theory of Appropriate Interpersonal (Conversational) Space
Extension of earlier nonverbal e.v. theory
Personal Space Expectations
Personal Space
: "invisible, variable volume of space surrounding an individual that defines that individual's preferred distance from others."

: (Edward Hall,
Hidden Dimension
)- people's use of space as a special elaboration of culture.
Is it always bad to violate expectations?
Transformation from a
convoluted model
elegant theory
(succinct, simple).

Communication Outcomes
(credibility, persuasiveness,
attraction, involvement, etc.)

Now arousal (mental alertness, awareness) is simply a by product of violation (not necessary link)

Core Concepts of EVT
: predicted to occur vs. desire
Context: cultural norms; setting of conversation
Relationship factors: similarity, familiarity, liking, and relative status
Communicator characteristics: demographics, personality, physical appearance, communicator style.
Violation Valence
pos or neg value we assign to a breach, regardless of violator.
Involves a switch into evaluation mode
Communicator Reward Valence:

sizing up others in terms of the
potential rewards they can
offer you and potential

Communicator Reward Valence...
: status (high), ability (high), attractive.
Communicatively= acceptance, liking, openness, appreciation, trust
status (low) ability (low) unattractive
Communicatively= disinterest, rejection, avoidance, distrust, disapproval
Why is the expectancy violators ability to reward or punish crucial?
Look to context for
puzzling violations
So should we violate other's expectations?
- when you have a good idea it will be received positively

- when outlandish behavior will be received negatively/offend.

- when you're not sure. Let the person you are communicating with (his/her actions, attitude, etc.) dictate your decision.
If on thin ice, curve and conform.
If you're up one, take a chance.
Interaction Adaption: Adjusting your Words
Moving from a single sided view to a dyadic one (conversations duets vs solos)

-Predisposed to adapt

Interaction Position

1.) Requirements
2.) Expectations
3.) Desires
Expectancy Violations Theory
Judee Burgoon
0 to 18 inches
18 inches to 4 ft.
4 to 10 ft
Public Distance: 10 ft to infinity
4 Proxemic Zones
Should NOT cross distance boundary uninvited
Threat Threshold
Fight or flight
Mixed Results
Testable Hypotheses

Which one
this theory
NOT have?
Full transcript