The Expectancy Violations Theory Originated By Judee Burgoon
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The Expectancy Violations Theory originated by Judee Burgoon explains a person’s response to unpredicted actions by their peers, and the numerous meanings that individuals attribute to the abuse or violation of their personal space. Burgoon defined personal space as the “invisible, variable volume of space surrounding an individual that defines that individual’s preferred distance from others” (Griffin, p. 85). Expectancy is what people predict (or expect) will occur, instead of what they wish.
What a person can conclude from these descriptions is that expectancy violation is a violation of one’s prediction. This theory understands communication as the discussion of information that can be used to disrupt the anticipations of someone else who will perceive the conversation either positively or negatively. Expectancies are mostly centered upon social standards and stereotypes of the communicators.
Expectations can originate straight from the present interaction but are frequently shaped by an individual’s initial attitude determined by a mixture of necessities, expectations, and requirements. Violations of expectancies cause an urge to force the communicator to start analyzing the violation. The theory suggests that expectancy will affect the result of the communication as positive or negative and predict that negative violations reduce the attraction of the violator.
An illustration of an Expectancy Violation is how close you let a person approach you before the space you