Guided by interaction adaptation theory, this work continues a tradition of examining the relative effects of cognitive expectancies and actual communication behavior on communication outcomes. Communication relevant expectancies (pleasant versus unpleasant communication) and actual communication (high versus low involvement) were manipulated in the current experiment. Communication was a strong predictor of emotional experiences and evaluations of the communicator, and was also the most predictive of the adaptation behavior of the participants: pleasant behavior was consistently met with pleasant behavior, while unpleasant behavior was met with reciprocated kinesic involvement and with maintenance of other measures of pleasantness and expressiveness. Expectancies did independently influence observers' perceptions of the participants' behavior, with those expecting pleasant communication being perceived as behaving in a more expected manner than those expecting unpleasant communication. Additionally, participants interacting with the female confederate were the most kinesically involved when they expected unpleasant communication-a compensatory move toward the expectancy. Violations of expectations created through the combination of expectancies and communication produced intensified effects in that those expecting unpleasant communication but receiving high involvement reported the greatest desire for future interaction.
- Violations of expectations