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Ch. 7: Expectancy Violations Theory
Terms in this set (20)
Who created the Expectancy Violations Theory (EVT) and why?
Judee Burgoon (1978) as a means of examining the influence that nonverbal communication has on a message production.
-Originally called 'Nonverbal Expectancy Violations Theory' but nonverbal was dropped to include all types of behaviors that violate expectancies.
Basic premise of EVT
People in general have certain expectations about the behavior (verbal and nonverbal) of others. EVT examines these expectations and what happens when verbal and nonverbal expectations are violated.
What is proxemics?
The use of personal space in conversations; a major focus of EVT.
What are two competing needs when it comes to space?
-Affiliation: the need to belong to a group.
-Personal Space: the "invisible, variable volume of space surrounding an individual which defines that an individual's preferred distance with others."
What are the four primary zones of personal space?
Edward Hall (1966) identified these primary zones to study the way people use space in conversation as well as how people perceive another person's use of space:
-Intimate Distance: 0-18 inches (intimate relationships)
-Personal Distance: 18inches to 4 feet (family & close friends)
-Social Distance: 4 to 12 feet (causal/social settings)
-Public Distance: 12 feet & beyond (formal meetings/discussions)
What is 'territoriality' and what are the three types?
A person's ownership of an area or object.
The exclusive domain of an individual and are usually marked to indicate ownership.
Example: your car.
These territories signal some sort of personal connection with an area or object. While they are not exclusive to an individual, the person does identify with them.
Examples: your apartment (owner has primary), FSU campus
Involve no personal affiliations and include those areas that are open to all people.
Examples: classrooms (during your class it's secondary), parks, etc.
What are the two behaviors that accompany territoriality?
-Prevention: behaviors that are warnings used to prevent other people or groups from invading a territory or territories and can include offensive displays s well as markers or symbols.
Ex: gangs use graffiti to 'tag' areas or property that belong to them as a warning to other groups.
-Reaction: behaviors that are usually the resulting response to an attempt to prevent access to an object or area.
What are the assumptions of Expectancy Violations Theory?
-Expectancies drive human interaction
-Expectancies are learned
-People make predictions about nonverbal behavior
Assumption: 'expectancies drive human interaction'
-Expectancies are the cognitions and behaviors that we think will happen in conversations/interactions with others and include verbal and non-verbal behavior
-Expectancies are a results of social norms, stereotypes, gossip (heresy) & individual idiosyncrasies
-The two types of expectancies are:
-preinteractional: the potential to interact
-interactional: actually performing in the interaction
-Cultural background also has an influence on what our expectancies are and how we believe we should act.
Assumption: 'expectancies are learned'
-We learn behaviors from society in general and from individuals we encounter in various social situations
-It is important to recognize and understand what we know about others and how we have interacted with these others in the past because it informs our expectations for future interactions.
Assumption: 'people make predictions about nonverbal behavior'
Nonverbal behavior is ambiguous and can be interpreted in many different ways, so it is important to understand that our prediction/evaluations (often based on attractiveness, posture, personal space, etc) may be inaccurate.
What is 'Reward Valence'?
-The positive or negative characteristics that an individual brings to an interaction.
What is 'reward value'?
-When people deviate from expected behavior, the evaluation of the behavior is adjusted by their reward value (the assumption that someone may reward or punish you in the future because of your behavior)
-Behavior by a high-reward source may be interpreted as positive.
-Same behavior by a low-reward source could be considered negative.
What is 'Arousal'?
The consequences associated with deviations from expected behaviors.
-It causes a personal to focus more on the source of the behavior than the behavior itself.
-Arousal can be cognitive (awareness of a violation) or physical (like moving away from the source of the violation)
What is 'Threat Threshold'?
The distance at which you feel uncomfortable (physically and psychologically) in the presence of someone who has violated your expectations.
-Threats normally occur after arousal (awareness) of an expectancy violation and are usually associated with distance expectancy violations.
-The higher the threat threshold, the closer you can handle people being.
What is 'Violation Valence'?
The positive or negative evaluation of an expectancy violation.
-Often hard to judge and occur on a positive/negative continuum.
-Sometimes we use reward valence as a tool to help us decide the violence valence (if we think the person is cute the violation is evaluated positively, if they're unattractive it might be evaluated negatively)
-Expectancy violation may not always be negative-sometimes the violation is a pleasant surprise from normal behavior.
Critique of Expectancy Violation Theory
-Scope and Boundaries: wide scope that encompasses a variety of behaviors but originally grounded in the notion of a personal space.
-Clarity: concepts can be difficult to distinguish in terms of measurement and testability
-Has practical value in society.
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