Effects of Communication Expectancies, Actual Communication, and Expectancy Disconfirmation on Evaluations of Communicators and Their Communication Behavior

JUDEE K. BURGOON, BETH A. Le POIRE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

168 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current investigation addressed (a) the perseverance of preinteraction expectancies in the face of actual communication behavior, (b) the separate effects of personal attribute and communication expectancies, and (c) the role of expectancy confirmation or disconfirmation on postinteraction evaluations. Participant perceivers were induced to hold positive or negative expectancies regarding a target partner's general personal attributes and specific communication behavior prior to a problem‐solving discussion. They then interacted with a confederate target who communicated in a pleasant, involved fashion or its opposite, after which perceivers evaluated target personal attributes and communication behavior. All three hypotheses received at least partial support. Preinteractional expectancies, especially personal attribute ones, caused perceivers to evaluate targets and their communication behavior differently, with negatively valenced expectancies serving as negative violations. Relative to a pleasant, involved communication style, unpleasant, uninvolved communication was less expected and evaluated negatively, thus functioning as a negative violation; it also reduced credibility, attraction, and perceived rewardingness of the target. Finally, disconfirmatory communication altered target evaluations relative to confirmatory communication, especially for high‐valence targets. These results lend support to the premises and predictions of expectancy violations theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-96
Number of pages30
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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