Chapter 7 class discussion on Expectations Violations Theory
Chapter 7, the class discussed Expectations Violations Theory. Based on that lecture, your assignment is as follows:
I would like you to go out and violate someone’s expectation, nonverbally.
A one page write up (typed; double-spaced) answering the following three questions:
▫What did you do?
▫What happened? What was the reaction?
▫How did you feel about doing the experience? How does culture influence the violations?
Expectancy violations theory predicts and explains the effects of nonverbal behavior violations on interpersonal communication outcomes such as attraction, credibility, persuasion, and smooth interactions. Human interactions are strongly governed by expectations which, if violated, are arousing and trigger an appraisal process that may be moderated by the rewardingness of the violator.
Violation interpretations and evaluations determine whether they are positive or negative violations. Positive violations are predicted to produce more favorable outcomes, and negative violations less favorable outcomes, than positive and negative confirmations respectively. Many of the theory’s propositions have been supported empirically. Some contrary findings have led to revision of the theory.
The theory has also been expanded to several kinds of nonverbal violations, including personal space, eye contact, posture, touch, involvement, and immediacy violations. The theory also spawned the investigation of the meanings associated with violations and the kinds of arousal that violations provoke.
Expectancy violations theory (EVT; Burgoon, 1993; Burgoon & Jones, 1976) is an interpersonal communication theory that makes the counterintuitive claim that violations of expectations are sometimes preferable to confirmations of expectations. It also distinguishes between positive and negative violations. Whereas most advice for communicators is to avoid violations of expectations, EVT proposes that positive violations can produce desirable results.
EVT was initially formulated to account for the communicative effects of proxemics violations during interpersonal and group interaction. Proxemics refers to the organization, use, and interpretation of space and distance. Hall (1959), an anthropologist, had designated proxemics as one of the “hidden dimensions of culture,” a sort of “silent language” that is used universally across cultures and expresses well-understood messages within a culture.
EVT arose out of an effort to reconcile conflicting views of proxemics in human interactions. Over the course of almost 40 years, the theory has evolved, been extended to other nonverbal behaviors, and applied to contexts ranging from interviews and interpersonal conversations to message comprehension and persuasive discourse to marital interactions, conflict and deception.