Application of Expectancy Violations Theory to an Interpersonal Communicative Episode

Essay by unsplendid_1College, UndergraduateA-, March 2007

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Introduction:In order to communicate efficiently with people, it is essential for us to identify the messages we are sending to others and others to us. Over decades, theorists came up with many communication theories, adapting them into real life situations, hoping to better understand how and why people communicate and behave under certain circumstances. With citations from three sources, I will attempt in using Judee Burgoon's Expectancy Violations Theory to analyze a communicative episode by describing the episode, explaining the theory, applying the theory to the episode and critiquing the theory's usefulness in explaining communicative interactions. This paper aims to evaluate how applicable a communication theory is to our everyday lives.

Communicative Episode:Last year, a friend working in the EA Games invited me to their open-house event. Working at EA Games has been a childhood dream; I was excited but nervous when I grabbed the opportunity to talk to the manager for public relations Peter, in his cubicle.

I sat up straight on the chair, cautiously asking questions and thinking carefully before asking every question. For around 5 minutes, Peter did not seem enthusiastic nor showed much encouragement. Up till that point, the conversation was strictly questions and answers and he was looking down to his documents most of the time. During the conversation, Peter answered a phone call from which I learned that he was planning to rent out one of the rooms in his house. Immediately I responded within myself about the questions he rose on the phone but wondered if I should provide some of my opinions about this situation from past experiences. Since the conversation had not gone that far, I was uncertain if talking about something not related to work would seem rude. I decided to bring up the issue at the end and...